Construction & Renovation Committee
Row House Renovation Project/ Renovation of Main Buildings

Actual ballot for January 28, 2018

Question: Is $2,000 per year enough to estimate for maintenance costs per year for these apartments?

Answer: This amount is recommended for the initial cost estimates, considering that these will be well-built and “new”.  As we gain more experience with our tenants and as the apartments are used more, we may adjust that number.  Financial adjustments for the property budget will be made as needed each year, understanding that we are not expecting an adjustment that would significantly impact our estimated annual income year over year.


Question: How will the net income from apartment rental be used?

Answer: The Administrative Board holds financial responsibility for our church.  Paying down the loan in an obvious priority as we begin to work with the Administrative Board to determine use of income as it becomes available. The Construction & Renovation Committee may make recommendations related to use of the money for renovation efforts.  Ultimately, it is understood that once our row house and facility updates are completed for this project, the congregation will begin to take a more in depth look at the best ways to utilize income from rental. This would include a focus on ministry efforts of the church, with consideration for both existing and new ministries that we agree upon.

When will this project end?

Answer: Renovation of the row houses is estimated to end around August 2019.   Timing is dependent upon finalization of the loan from the VBEB, as well as navigating the need for a Special Use Permit(s) to change the zoning of the row houses from single family dwelling to appropriate for duplexes.  

Renovation of the interior of our main church buildings will be targeted after we have agreement on what changes are prioritized and the amount of money we confirm will be used for this purpose.


Question:Will the current Construction & Renovation Committee members be staying on as the project continues?

Answer: Some of our committee members have served for a long time.  We are aware of our need to give all of our committee members the option to let us know how they would like to serve going forward and for how long.  With two major renovation projects ahead of us, it is likely that we will consider the creation of two committees.  This will allow focus on each of these important church initiatives.  We appreciate the interest of others to help with a fresh perspective, while not starting over in the process.


Question:Who is qualified to vote about the direction of the renovations for the row houses and the church facilities?  Is there an age limit?

Answer: All church members are qualified to vote on this and all other matters, regardless of age.  While we appreciate the interest and comments of non-members, only members are allowed to vote.  We, as church leaders, will make an effort to get the input our various groups/audiences, including the youth, throughout our renovation efforts.


Question: Will members be able to vote only at the Business Meeting on 1/28/18?

Answer: Members will be given a ballot in their bulletin before church services on 1/28/18, and they will be able to vote either at the time of worship services or at the time of the business meeting after worship.  We welcome members to vote after they receive more information in the business meeting if that is their preference.  We plan to tally the votes at the end of the church’s annual business meeting.  TBC does not have a precedent for a proxy vote, and we do not have the process in place at this time to make that an option for this vote.


Question: Is the February 1 deadline to submit our loan application a realistic time frame, or are we being too aggressive with that date?

Answer: We prefer to submit our construction loan application in a meeting with the VBEB on February 1st because of our desire to hopefully get our loan approved with an interest rate locked in before interest rates go up.  The VBEB holds two meetings a year to consider construction loan applications, meaning that our next opportunity to be considered for this construction loan would be in the August/September time line.  

Understanding that we must resolve any open entity status questions, as well as answer questions around when we need to create the LLC and registration of our Trustees with the Circuit Court in relation to signatures on a loan, we may have to wait until later this year to submit the loan application.  It is possible that the VBEB can help us understand any concerns they may have as a lender regarding these types of legal questions to better help us make wise choices in the timing of the loan.


Question: Do you have adequate contingency allowances in your cost estimates for renovation?

Answer: We believe that we do.  We have allowed at least $30,000 per row house as a contingency.  Plus, we have used some rather conservative numbers for cost estimates to give ourselves as much buffer as possible in our overall calculations for cost and then net income.


Question: If the currently library walls are going down, where will the library be moved to?

Answer: The majority of the materials in our library will be moved to the new conference room area.  We intend for this conference room to be an open reading area, with groups reserving the conference room as needed.


Question: Are we saying we will not be using the 3rd floor of the Williams Building anymore?  What will we do with it?

Answer: We will continue to use the 3rd floor as we have in the past for mission teams.  New showers planned for the 2nd floor of our main building will help with that use, alongside showers being considered the first floor of the main building.  We are not focusing renovation efforts on the 3rd floor at this time.  We can look to that need as a future project as funds become available.


Question: There are other remodeling needs that we have as a church.  We need new carpet in the Blue Room, changes to the kitchen, such as a new refrigerator, and new carpet in the Fellowship Hall.  Will that be included?

Answer: We are not quite ready to go into that level of detail regarding improvements we prioritize for the main church building yet.  We will only start the renovations in the main building after we gain approval from the congregation for what is needed and how we utilize the amount of funds available to meet those needs. We intend to focus the use of the God-Sized Vision funds to achieve the goals for which the money was originally donated in our decision-making process to prioritize use of these funds.


Question: Could we sell the historic tax credits to members of our congregation at close to or full value?

Answer: We are open to any option that allows us to maximize the value of the tax credits that we become eligible for upon completion of the row house renovations.  We appreciate any and all expertise offered in this area that will enable us to sell the tax credits at above the estimated $.78 on the dollar that is being stated as a current standard/expected rate.


Question: What do you mean by “low rent housing”?  Would it be better to describe what you mean as “modified or discounted rental”?


Our first priority is to earn the full value of rental for the houses to help us pay off the construction loan.  When we feel that the time is appropriate, the church will consider various options for using the houses for the purpose of ministry partnership. We will need to be careful to remain in the specifications of our zoning code with the City of Richmond. The rental properties need to remain rentals.  

Some options may include:  

  • Renting an apartment back to the church to provide housing for a Pastoral Resident
  • Provide an apartment for missionary housing
  • Provide housing for a church or community member in need of discounted rental near a medical facility.  
  • Create a mixed income formula where different renters pay different amounts on their yearly leases. The amount on the lease would be dependent upon financial status. (e.g. one renter pays more each month to offset the cost of rent for a tenant in another apartment.)
  • etc. 

We see these apartments as another type of “endowment”, helping us to grow into our ministerial identity in partnership with our community and/or global ministry partners. 


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