Hamilton Mountain church eyes high rise

News Oct 24, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Chalmers Church planning condo development 

By Mark Newman, News Staff

Facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in future renovation and upkeep costs and a shrinking congregation, Chalmers Presbyterian Church is moving forward with a unique plan, possibly the first of its kind for a church in Canada, aimed at keeping the church on Mountain Park Avenue for many years to come.

“We’re planning on incorporating our church into a housing community,” said Reverend Dr. Victoria Eldridge, the minister at Chalmers which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.

For the past year church officials have been working with a local architectural firm on a plan that would essentially see the church hand over its land on Mountain Park near Cliff Avenue to a developer who would demolish the two church buildings and replace them with a multi-million dollar condominium complex that could rise as high as 12 stories with underground parking.

The church in return would get and own most of the space on the first two floors that would become the new Chalmers Church.

“We’re hoping this isn’t going to cost us any money,” said Eldridge, who noted the complex will not be any higher than The Madison; a nearby 11 storey condo building that was completed in 2008.

Eldridge noted the project is still in the preliminary stage and the exact size and scope of the development, including the number of condos, has not been determined.

Unlike the current church buildings, the new church facilities would be completely accessible.

The first floor will include the sanctuary with portable seating for 150 along with a couple of meeting rooms and possibly a coffee shop.

On the second floor there will be administration space, a multi-purpose room and a banquet area with a small kitchen that can be rented out to the community.

The new church is also expected to feature a lot of glass for natural light.

“We wanted to be part of the community,” said Christine Stevenson, a Chalmers elder and part of the church’s Prepare the Way committee that is overseeing the project.

Stevenson said the congregation has had a lot of input into the planning and church members agreed on Sept. 28 to begin the process of finding a developer to work with.

“The majority of people are looking forward to having an accessible and a bright new place where others in the community can come and join us,” Stevenson said.

Eldridge said the architectural firm will put the project out for bids from developers in the coming weeks and recommend a builder to the church.

They hope to have a developer selected by the New Year

Eldridge said the church and the developer will then work out specific design plans and they hope to see construction begin sometime in 2015.

The developer will also look after all the various approvals required from city hall, including a zoning change.

“It’s an exciting project for most people and it’s a little scary because it is so different (from) what we’ve done (previously),” Stevenson said.

Chalmers Presbyterian Church today has 80-100 members compared to nearly 600 in 1964.

Hamilton Mountain church eyes high rise

News Oct 24, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Chalmers Church planning condo development 

By Mark Newman, News Staff

Facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in future renovation and upkeep costs and a shrinking congregation, Chalmers Presbyterian Church is moving forward with a unique plan, possibly the first of its kind for a church in Canada, aimed at keeping the church on Mountain Park Avenue for many years to come.

“We’re planning on incorporating our church into a housing community,” said Reverend Dr. Victoria Eldridge, the minister at Chalmers which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.

For the past year church officials have been working with a local architectural firm on a plan that would essentially see the church hand over its land on Mountain Park near Cliff Avenue to a developer who would demolish the two church buildings and replace them with a multi-million dollar condominium complex that could rise as high as 12 stories with underground parking.

The church in return would get and own most of the space on the first two floors that would become the new Chalmers Church.

“We’re hoping this isn’t going to cost us any money,” said Eldridge, who noted the complex will not be any higher than The Madison; a nearby 11 storey condo building that was completed in 2008.

Eldridge noted the project is still in the preliminary stage and the exact size and scope of the development, including the number of condos, has not been determined.

Unlike the current church buildings, the new church facilities would be completely accessible.

The first floor will include the sanctuary with portable seating for 150 along with a couple of meeting rooms and possibly a coffee shop.

On the second floor there will be administration space, a multi-purpose room and a banquet area with a small kitchen that can be rented out to the community.

The new church is also expected to feature a lot of glass for natural light.

“We wanted to be part of the community,” said Christine Stevenson, a Chalmers elder and part of the church’s Prepare the Way committee that is overseeing the project.

Stevenson said the congregation has had a lot of input into the planning and church members agreed on Sept. 28 to begin the process of finding a developer to work with.

“The majority of people are looking forward to having an accessible and a bright new place where others in the community can come and join us,” Stevenson said.

Eldridge said the architectural firm will put the project out for bids from developers in the coming weeks and recommend a builder to the church.

They hope to have a developer selected by the New Year

Eldridge said the church and the developer will then work out specific design plans and they hope to see construction begin sometime in 2015.

The developer will also look after all the various approvals required from city hall, including a zoning change.

“It’s an exciting project for most people and it’s a little scary because it is so different (from) what we’ve done (previously),” Stevenson said.

Chalmers Presbyterian Church today has 80-100 members compared to nearly 600 in 1964.

Hamilton Mountain church eyes high rise

News Oct 24, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Chalmers Church planning condo development 

By Mark Newman, News Staff

Facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in future renovation and upkeep costs and a shrinking congregation, Chalmers Presbyterian Church is moving forward with a unique plan, possibly the first of its kind for a church in Canada, aimed at keeping the church on Mountain Park Avenue for many years to come.

“We’re planning on incorporating our church into a housing community,” said Reverend Dr. Victoria Eldridge, the minister at Chalmers which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.

For the past year church officials have been working with a local architectural firm on a plan that would essentially see the church hand over its land on Mountain Park near Cliff Avenue to a developer who would demolish the two church buildings and replace them with a multi-million dollar condominium complex that could rise as high as 12 stories with underground parking.

The church in return would get and own most of the space on the first two floors that would become the new Chalmers Church.

“We’re hoping this isn’t going to cost us any money,” said Eldridge, who noted the complex will not be any higher than The Madison; a nearby 11 storey condo building that was completed in 2008.

Eldridge noted the project is still in the preliminary stage and the exact size and scope of the development, including the number of condos, has not been determined.

Unlike the current church buildings, the new church facilities would be completely accessible.

The first floor will include the sanctuary with portable seating for 150 along with a couple of meeting rooms and possibly a coffee shop.

On the second floor there will be administration space, a multi-purpose room and a banquet area with a small kitchen that can be rented out to the community.

The new church is also expected to feature a lot of glass for natural light.

“We wanted to be part of the community,” said Christine Stevenson, a Chalmers elder and part of the church’s Prepare the Way committee that is overseeing the project.

Stevenson said the congregation has had a lot of input into the planning and church members agreed on Sept. 28 to begin the process of finding a developer to work with.

“The majority of people are looking forward to having an accessible and a bright new place where others in the community can come and join us,” Stevenson said.

Eldridge said the architectural firm will put the project out for bids from developers in the coming weeks and recommend a builder to the church.

They hope to have a developer selected by the New Year

Eldridge said the church and the developer will then work out specific design plans and they hope to see construction begin sometime in 2015.

The developer will also look after all the various approvals required from city hall, including a zoning change.

“It’s an exciting project for most people and it’s a little scary because it is so different (from) what we’ve done (previously),” Stevenson said.

Chalmers Presbyterian Church today has 80-100 members compared to nearly 600 in 1964.