Texas InTown Homes has been named as the developer for the historic First Baptist Church Plano properties in downtown Plano. The decision is largely based on InTown Homes’ willingness to work with the neighborhood and the city, FBC Plano said in a press release Sept. 6.
The developers have promised to keep and repurpose the historic church chapel. The chapel will be the centerpiece of the 10-acre, mixed-use property. InTown Homes expects to create 50 for-sale urban townhouses, 270 apartments with live and work units as well as office, retail and restaurant spaces, according to the release.
“We wanted to recognize the important role that the church has played in Plano’s history, and preserving the chapel and making it the centerpiece of our development was the best way to do this,” said Audra Buckley, the developer’s representative, in the press release. “Keeping the chapel was also a major goal of the nearby residents, and we have worked diligently with them to make sure that our development transitions well with their neighborhood.”
InTown Homes expects to begin construction soon on for-sale townhouses at the corner of 15th Street and Avenue H, the release said.
The church moved in January to sell its properties and relocate to a property north of President George Bush Turnpike between Coit Road and Independence Parkway.
Moving to another location was roughly the same price as renovating the current property, and traffic in the downtown area made moving a better decision for the church, FBC Plano administrator Dwayne Weaver said previously, as reported by Community Impact Newspaper.
“The goal is to gain enhanced visibility and accessibility so that the church can serve more people in Plano and the surrounding area,” said Dr. Craig Curry, Pastor of First Baptist Plano, as part of the press release.
FBC Plano released plans in February for its new development located near Coit and Mapleshade. The release included renderings and a floor plan of the future First Baptist Plano, including renderings of the exterior elevation and the worship center, various drawings of classrooms and hallways and a map of the floor plan.
The building process for FBC Plano’s new location is expected to take roughly two years, and the church will stay at its current location until its new facility is completed, the Sept. 6 release said.
The church also met in March for a praise and prayer service focused largely on relocation obstacles. Prayer requests included zoning and buyer negotiation; the timing of zoning for both their current property and future property; and leaders and teams working on relocation.
In 2017, Collin Central Appraisal District assessed the downtown properties owned by First Baptist at roughly $7 million, a number that includes land, buildings, parking lots and a residential home owned by the church.
FBC Plano began as a schoolhouse with five members in 1852, according to the church’s website. The church moved to Plano in 1873 and moved to its current location in 1897.