The Greensboro City Council unanimously voted to approve a contract to acquire the old Glenwood United Methodist Church at 1417 Glenwood Ave. at the Tuesday, Feb. 21 meeting.

The contract for acquiring the property is with Christ United Methodist Church, which merged with Glenwood.  The city agreed to pay $30,000 and donate four lots to Habitat for Humanity in exchange for the church property valued at $1.4 million.

The city plans to use the old church building to create a hub “for neighborhood-based services in partnership with City departments, non-profits and community organizations,” according to the agenda.  Three adjacent lots come with the property which the city plans to develop for housing.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “This neighborhood, Glenwood, is one of our reinvestment areas. It will be really great for the city to have an office there and for the neighborhood to have a hub. To have new houses being built and it’s something positive we can point to.”

Councilmember Sharon Hightower noted that the city-owned lots being donated to Habitat were not in the neighborhood.

Housing and Neighborhood Development Director Michelle Kennedy said that the lots being donated to Habitat were in neighborhoods where Habitat was already working.

Kennedy said, “The target for the three lots in Glenwood will be working with the community to identify what goes on those three lots and working with minority contractors for opportunities to build there.”

Hightower and Kennedy then discussed how the three lots in Glenwood would be given to minority contractors.

Nobody on the City Council asked and Kennedy didn’t provide any information on the estimated cost of turning the old Glenwood Methodist Church building into city offices and a neighborhood hub.

According to the agenda, “Additional funds will be appropriated for rehabilitation when those costs have been developed.”

It is not unusual for renovation costs to be considerably higher than acquisition costs.  For example, the old Regency Inn was purchased for about $2.5 million but the renovation costs to turn the former motel into housing for the homeless was estimated at $10 million in 2022.