Monday, February 09, 2009

New Site Considerations

In yesterday's extended announcement I went through some information regarding Parkview's possible relocation plans. Above is a map of one of the primary sites we are considering. Below is a summary of my talking points in the announcement. Remember, if you have any comments or questions, that there will be additional forums available for you to attend after each February 22 service in the atrium.

How would relocation effect our mission and vision?
  • Our primary focus and priority at Parkview has never been and, we pray, never will be land or a building. The mission that drives us is to, “Love God, Love Others, and Serve the World”.
  • Though changing locations can effect how we do mission it won’t change our commitment to that mission.
  • Our commitment to reaching the University of Iowa, to ministering to at-risk youth and their families at “The Spot”, and to sharing Christ with the Hispanic community in our area will continue to be at the heart of our mission, no matter where we’re located as a church.
How would a relocation of our main campus impact our college ministry?

Pastor, Nate Hobert and the students in his team have supported the idea that moving will not hinder their ability to maintain a strong ministry to college students, citing...
  • That the 24/7 mid-week event, weekly bible studies, and regular discipling activities all take place at down-town or campus locations, meaning the location of our main church facility will have little impact upon the day-to-day operations of the ministry.
  • In regard to our Sunday services, we’ve found that very few students actually walk here to attend the service. Many living on campus actually ride here on Parkview’s bus, which will continue to be service we provide, no matter where we are located.
What is the risk of a future floods at our Foster road location?
  • Since the floods of 2008 experts have proposed that the probability of us reaching those flood levels again is anywhere from 1 in 40 to 1 in 500.
  • Because annual rainfall totals have been steadily increasing and the reservoir is loosing capacity due to silt build-up, the “100 year flood” of 15 years ago, which reached to our doorstep, is now a 1 in 17 risk and is estimated to be a 1 in 5 risk in another 50 years. Reviewing all of these statistics, makes it safe to assume that the risk of future flood damage is very real.
What is our need for a larger facility or larger campus?
  • We must provide adequate seating at the times people want to attend. Because this is the case, simply adding another service, at another time, won’t really fix overcrowding issues.
  • In regard to prime attendance hours, church strategists have determined that once 80 percent of the seats are filled within a service, the attendance will stagnate or even decline. If you attend the 2nd or 3rd service, you realize that we are regularly filling our space to those levels.
  • With the city not allowing us to expand at our present location, to not relocate is to set ourselves up for stagnation and decline.
Can we afford to purchase land at this time?
  • We do have the funds that would, in addition to a small manageable loan, be enough to buy the land now. Of course, if the congregation chooses to move forward with the purchase, the Lord may also provide that shortfall through additional donations.
  • This leads to the question, “How would we pay for the cost of constructing a building at this new site?” Admittedly, that is a God sized issue. Our response being that if God is leading us to move, our next step of faith will be to purchase the land and, once that’s complete, to begin addressing future construction issues.
Can we “afford” NOT to buy it now?
  • The reality with this kind of property, is that If we don’t buy now, this and other possible locations will no longer be available.
  • Though the asking price for this property may seem steep, if you compare it to other sites using the standard of price per usable acre, it is the superior choice.
  • Though, in our search for property, we did find some more affordable tracts of land, the cost for needed roads, sewer and water hook up, access fees, and loss of unusable portions due to topography issues, made them less attractive options.
  • Of the 22 sites evaluated, 7 were attractive enough to investigate, and of those 7 the land on Forevergreen is the lowest priced per usable acre.
Is the Forevergreen site the best site?

6 criteria for purchase:
  1. a location close to a major road and accessible from many locations
  2. visibility
  3. buildable in the next 1-3 years rather than 5-10 years
  4. the land needs to have many entrances to the parcel
  5. at least 30 to 40 buildable acres and
  6. cost
  • The biggest negative regarding this site is its distance from our present site, which is about 7-9 minutes driving time during non rush-hour times.
  • Some of the positives of this site are that it is in a fast growing area, has good visibility from highway 965, will have multiple entrances and exits for traffic, will have future access to interstate 380, is easy to find “2 miles north of the mall”, and last but not least is on high ground.
What will happen to the current site if we build on a new site?
  • Though we are not making this decision at this time, how we decide the future will be based upon how the vision and mission can best be met, what resources we have to build on the new site, the market value of the present site, and future flood risk. This is an issue we’ll definitely need to work through as we look to the future.
Are we moving too fast?

In response to this, we want you to know that we are doing all we can to balance future flood risk, with real estate considerations, with the need to move forward carefully and intentionally.
  • We are presently in the middle of a 4 month phase where we’ve made it our goal to listen to the congregation, gather as much information as possible, and pray in order to either reaffirm or change our direction.
  • In this regard, we continue to welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we look to the future.

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