HALIFAX – A local church wants the city to let it turn a portion of its unused property into a mixed-use addition, including 67 homes, to help it achieve financial stability.
“We usually run a deficit,” said Valeria MacDonald, an elder at The Presbyterian Church of Saint David.
The plan was a approved with a few minor changes and will eventually go before city council.
The land, about 1.3 hectares in size, has a hall that isn’t being used by the church.
“While we definitely aren’t in it to make a profit, we do have to pay our bills,” said MacDonald.
The proposed seven-storey building would include some commercial space. The church would get $4,000 a month in lease payments.
That income would help offset the $2 million cost of repairs needed in the next 10 years.
Part of the land under the hall is a graveyard; a crypt is under construction in the basement of the church to eventually house the contents.
The Cathedral Church of All Saints faced a similar challenge years ago.
“People today have perhaps less disposable income that they can access,” said Paul Smith, rector at the church.
The church decided to build a seniors residence next door three years ago.