Redevelopment of the old downtown First United Methodist Church into a mixed-use project has moved one step closer to reality with a board’s recommendation to approve tax incentives worth up to $6 million.
The Rutherford County Industrial Development Board last Wednesday approved a Tax Incremental Financing deal worth up to $6 million or a 15-year-period, whichever comes first, board Chairman Bill Jones said. The deal covers the property taxes on the public parking portion of the site’s future parking garage. The Murfreesboro City Council and Rutherford County Commission must sign off on the deal.
The garage will have 505 parking spaces, more than half of which will be available for public use, said development attorney Jeff Reed, who also represents the Rutherford County Board of Education.
TRC, of Brentwood, is one of three partners in One East College LLC, the company that wants to redevelop the old First United Methodist Church/Franklin Synergy Bank bounded by Church, Lytle, College and Spring streets. TRC will handle design and construction, said Brian N. Davis, president and COO. Other partners are Onicx Investments OEC LLC and Nick Patel of Detroit.
The City of Murfreesboro announced in July that it sold the property for $1.8 million.
TRC’s projects have included Pinnacle Towers in Nashville and engineering work on Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and the Rutherford County Judicial Center.
The development will be called One East College, Davis said. It will have three stories of residential units, with the type of units to be determined later. The units will be located above the garage. The church tower will be preserved. Davis said he thinks the sanctuary can be saved and turned into a space for events and possibly a restaurant. The remainder of the buildings would be razed.
Also, there will be five stories of office space and a five-story, 110-unit hotel, Davis said. The parking garage will be three-and-a-half stories tall.
Davis said he hopes to start work in June and start demolition in 2020 with an expected completion date of June 31, 2022. Developers must present a Planned Unit Development zoning request to the City of Murfreesboro, officials said, possibly this month.
The church’s stained-glass windows will have interior backlighting to show up in the dark, Reed said.
Public parking will be free for up to two hours, officials said. There will be a charge after that to ensure people do not leave a vehicle there long-term.