109/112 Mechanics Street Task Force
A virtual congregational meeting was held on February 7, 2021 at which time a proposal was made to sell the property at 112 Mechanics Street (abutting the graveyard), the location of the home formerly occupied by our church sexton. This recommendation followed several months of study by the DPC Property Committee investigating the best use of the house and property. Following the formal recommendation at the meeting, the congregation voted to delay action on the proposal in order to evaluate other options for the property and to allow for additional input from the congregation. Concern was expressed by the congregation that they did not have adequate information and time to assess the proposal, and that other potential options for the property may not have been fully explored.
In response to the congregation’s decision, our Session authorized a task force to explore other options in addition to a possible sale. That team includes Phil Cacossa, Craig Eaton, Jeff Fulgham (moderator), Bev Jewusiak, Mary Lee Reiff, Nancy Roe, John Schumann, Julie Toner, and Lou White. In addition to 112 Mechanics Street, the task force will also be evaluating options for the church property at 109 Mechanics Street (across the street from 112, abutting the drive next Andrews Hall).
Do you have a potential usage for the 112 property that the Task Force could consider? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of the task force is to gather broad input from the congregation, openly communicate progress to the congregation, evaluate all options, discuss options with the Property and Finance Committees before bringing a recommendation to Session. The updated proposal will come to the congregation.
Actions to Date:
The team has held multiple meetings, informal discussions with members of the congregation, a walk-through of both properties, communications planning with Christian Menno, updates to and from the Property Committee and informal discussions with Borough officials to gather an initial range of ideas for consideration.
Initial ideas for consideration include the following
A) Renovate/Repair/Remodel 112 Structure for use as:
- “Mission Hub” – update house for use as a shared space for multiple mission partners servicing Doylestown/Bucks County (i.e. Code Blue, Wrapping Presence, Between Friends, etc.)
- Refugee housing
- Youth gathering space
- Housing for associate pastor
- Repair the house and rent it as a commercial or residential property (Property Committee studied this possibility)
B) Raze Properties and Replace With:
- Amphitheater/gathering space for weddings, private parties, church functions, etc. – potential to rent space to generate income to offset costs
- Memorial Garden / park-like setting – add to greenspace in Doylestown, could include donations to memorialize loved ones
- Community garden
- Extend cemetery and/or add columbarium – potential income source
- Pavilion – potential use for 109 Mechanics leveraging tiered elevation with outdoor pavilion at street level leading to playground in rear (currently provided for Building Blocks program)
- Expanded handicap parking
C) Sell Property “As Is” (Property Committee recommended this at the Feb. 7, 2021 Congregational Meeting)
- Brief questionnaire to congregation for input on potential uses for properties that should be considered
- Share video walk-through of properties to get firsthand perspective
- Conduct an “Open House” on May 16 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm to allow interested church members to walk through the 112 building.
- Once congregational input is received, consolidate list of options to be considered and complete a more comprehensive evaluation of each to include financial analysis, feasibility, feedback from Borough’s Architectural Review Board, etc.
- Openly communicate to congregation as additional information is received/produced
- Interim report at Congregational Meeting on June 13, 2021 to provide update on progress
DPC In Action
December 15, 2021