Bigger than us

Questions & Answers

Where is the property?

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The property is located on the southeast corner of 56 Ave (Highway 10) and 148 Street in Surrey, BC – adjacent to the building where our current leased Ministry Centre is located. The property is just under 6 acres in size.

Why this location?

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It was difficult to find land that was large enough and had a chance of being rezoned to our needs. Much of what looks like open land is reserved under the provincial land reserve program so is unavailable to build on. Where there are land options, it is zoned as light industrial, residential, or commercial with little to no guarantee that the residents or the City of Surrey would approve appropriate rezoning.

Our goal was to find a plot of land that was a workable size, had a reasonable chance of being rezoned, had the ability to share parking, and was not an exorbitant price. Before this particular site, we had interest in 2 or 3 other properties that we pursued. The present location was brought to our attention through an introduction from the City of Surrey who were very helpful with our search. The journey to find a long-term solution started in early 2013.

When will construction begin and how long will it take?

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The pandemic has messed with our timeline but subject to a restart of the campaign, as well as the amount of pledges and giving received, we would like to break ground sometime in 2022.

Construction time is currently estimated at about 18 months.

Will there be enough parking?

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Yes. This was a key part of the development application that included a detailed study where experts analyzed peak usage. The property itself will include over 600 spots including underground parking. We have a reciprocal parking agreement with the neighbouring 14928 56th Street lot (our current Ministry Centre) on weeknights and weekends, and street parking on 54A Ave to the south. As well, we have an agreement for shared parking on weekends with the Benchmark East Building at 152nd Street and 54A Ave (via shuttle service). This brings the grand total to close to 1000 spots - well beyond what is required.

We have committed to being a good neighbour (via a signed agreement with the City of Surrey) and will enforce no parking on any of the residential streets on 148th Street and to the west.

Will we be able to raise the money?

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The first phase of the campaign to purchase the land was an incredible example of what can happen when the people of God rally around a vision, a project, and a deadline. What we are asking people to do is to think, examine, and pray about re-prioritizing their finances to make the kind of gift they would like to make over a three year period, to support a moment in our history that we may not get another chance to do again.

We are asking us as a church to give at least $30M ($10M/year over 3 years) and we will borrow the remaining. But, our goal is to raise the entire amount by the time the project is completed, ideally in late 2023. We are trusting God for that amount and we know it is achievable if every family gives what they can in faith.

There are many ways to give. See this link for more ideas that might surprise you.

What is the cost of the building?

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The total cost is projected to be approximately $50M. As of May 2021 we had almost $4M saved already so that leaves a remaining amount of $46M to cover building, parking, soft costs, and contingencies. A rough breakdown is $30M for building, $10M for parking, and another allocation of $10M for contingencies and soft costs (architect, consultants, designers).

Why can't we just keep doing what we are doing?

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There are many reasons why we cannot just do nothing, most of them related to limitations that block our vision/effectiveness, higher costs, as well as our growing vulnerability. The pandemic also presented us with the new risk of operational instability. The precariousness of not having a facility that we can execute core ministry out of and under our control presents a genuine risk of not being able to minister effectively into the future. This is explained more in a Lease vs. Build analysis we conducted in 2017, summarized here.

Is this too much money to be spending on a church?

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The short answer is No because this is not just a building for one church community - it's a facility to resource a movement across Canada and beyond.

As of 2021, we are already resourcing nine churches, and the vision is for 10 or 50 more in the coming decades. In order for that to happen we need a facility that can scale to those kind of numbers as we train leaders and develop content to support that goal.

Secondly, the size represents the space we are currently using (renting and leasing) every week across multiple buildings in Surrey, BC. Taking that square footage and projecting out typical costs per square foot of a multipurpose building (including auditorium and parking), you quickly see how the building cost is what it is.

Why underground parking?

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The City of Surrey does not allow above-ground parking structures.

In addition, because land value in Surrey has risen dramatically over the past few years, the cost to build underground parking is beginning to approach the same cost of buying land that could accommodate surface parking (assuming there was land available and able to be rezoned accordingly).

What if I need to adjust my pledge?

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Let us know how you would like to adjust your pledge by sending a note to village2021@thisisvillagechurch.com.

For the approximately 600 families that did pledge in early 2020, we welcome continued giving, but there is no expectation or obligation to deliver on the commitments made. This will allow flexibility if your financial situation has been negatively impacted during the pandemic and/or will also allow a fresh start with a new pledge when the new campaign formally fires up in early 2022.


What if we raise more than we need?

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Any amounts given over and above the amount needed to construct and furnish the building will be carried forward into operations and life-cycle maintenance.