What’s the plan?
The Church has been given the opportunity to purchase the property at 985 Old Roswell Rd (between Jeffords Hall and Sinclair House). We (the rector, wardens, and vestry) are moving forward in good faith negotiations with the trustees who represent the estate, and we are planning to purchase the property before the close of 2022.
Why are we purchasing the property?
St. David’s has hoped to purchase this property many times since the early 80s. It represents flexibility in how we might pursue the mission of our campus, especially in our development on the Jeffords side of campus. Having contiguous property along the Old Roswell frontage from our east entrance (church parking lot) to Old Forge will be a great benefit. There will be ongoing conversations about the ideal use of this building.
What will this purchase cost St. David’s?
We’re still in the process of negotiations, and so cannot be certain of the final cost. A recent appraisal for the property was set at $320, 000. In addition to the transaction cost, we expect that there may be costs bringing the property up to our standards for use in ministry. The yearly costs for maintenance and utilities are expected to be similar to those of The Sinclair House. Those costs fit within the boundaries of our current operating budget.
What about our debt?
St. David’s long-term debt sits at $3.4 million (as of July 2022). The financial positioning of the parish, especially our cash reserves, would not require us to add to these obligations in order to purchase the property, though the finance committee and vestry will review every option for funding. Our current debt payments will not change until we refinance the loan at the in late 2026.
What will we use this space for?
Currently the property is zoned for residential housing. St. David’s will ask the City of Roswell for a change to that zoning which will allow us to use the property for our general church purposes. In the meantime, we’re exploring how we might leverage this property to make a difference in our community in a way that is allowable under its current zoning restrictions.
Are there long-range plans for campus development?
In short, yes. During the 2006 capital project that delivered Jeffords Hall, St. David’s envisioned multiple phases of development that would create a more unified and accessible campus. 985 Old Roswell did not factor into those plans, and cost overruns prevented our exploring what some might have called “phase II”. Future plans for campus development will necessarily include the additional properties at 985 Old Roswell Rd and 935 Old Forge Rd.
Crossing “T”s and dotting “I”s takes significant time with transactions like this. We will not close on the property until early winter. We’ll be sure to keep you informed as we move forward. As always, if you have questions or feedback, please contact the rector or a vestry member.