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Monday, June 22, 2015

Church buys office building on Rt. 50

6565 Arlington Blvd.
The Falls Church Anglican, a group of defectors from the historic Falls Church in the City of Falls Church, has purchased an office building at 6565 Arlington Blvd., the Falls Church News-Press reports.

The congregation, led by Rev. John Yates, had defected from the Episcopal Church in 2006, but continued to occupy the historic building until they were forced out in 2012 following a lengthy court battle. Their dispute was mainly against more progressive elements in the Episcopal Church, including the election of an openly gay priest as a bishop.

Yates’ group bought the five-acre property containing a five-story office building and two-story parking deck on a five-acre parcel on Arlington Boulevard near the South Cherry Street intersection for about $31 million. That is far more than the property’s assessed value of $19 million, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross told the News-Press. Construction of a new sanctuary and other facilities would cost an additional $23 million, according to a brochure produced by the group.

The conversion of a commercial property to a non-profit use will result in the loss of approximately $207,000 in tax revenue for the county.

The project will present other challenges, too, around land use regulations, the impact on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses, and traffic on already-congested Route 50, Gross said.

The Falls Church Anglican has no immediate plans to tear it down, says church spokesperson Susan Fertig-Dykes. The staff will move into the building later this year, and the church will continue to hold services at space leased at Bishop O’Connell High School until it can build a sanctuary.

According to a statement issued by the Falls Church Anglican, the church will join a variety of medical practices and other tenants leasing space at 6565 Arlington Blvd. “We are glad to have these important services available alongside us. In fact, a number of our members are patients of the doctors or clinics there,” Yates said.

“The church will now be able to bring staff together in one location after several years of operating from places several miles apart,” added Senior Warden Whit Jordan. “We are excited about being in a vital Fairfax crossroads along a major highway and hope to contribute to the neighborhood in useful ways.”

31 comments:

  1. A loss of $207,000. Per year. That would pay for several teachers' salaries.

    "Non-profit" mega churches and hospitals are buying up commercial property at an alarming rate. Is there no way for zoning to classify properties as strictly commercial/tax-generating, preventing these "non-profit" behemoths from taking up large swathes of land?

    It is unbelievable that I have to pay thousands per year for the privilege of occupying the county on my small parcel of land, but these behemoth non-profits do not.

    We are not making any more land in the county. Let's not just hand it all over to "non-profits."

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    1. You left out the part about me being able to deduct what I drop in the collection plate from my income taxes. The good news is that the portion of the otherwise tax exempt
      property used for commercial rather than church purposes must be segregated and taxed even if the proceeds received by the church from the commercial use are applied to church purposes.

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    2. And you left out the part about not knowing that writing off property taxes from income taxes is not IN ANY WAY equal to being exempt from paying them.

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    3. I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Falls Church Episcopal or Anglican, but as a citizen I feel we are blessed to have churches, synagogs and other faith based organizations in our midst. They bring love, healing, and beauty to our community. They enrich our lives and the faith they exhibit is the foundation of our free society. As our Founders stated, virtue is essential if a free society is to survive. We should be thankful, not critical when a church like this grows and expands.

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    4. your losses will be made up in people encouraged to work in ministries to help people, people encouraged to be loving of their neighbor, encouraged to be involved in the community in leadership positions, contributing their time for free in many cases. And there's more! The $207,000 easily recovered in their generousity to the community...

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  2. Add that to the massive ExxonMobil property which is going off the tax rolls since it was bought by Inova. (Yes, better Inova than standing vacant, but still a big hit to the bottom line.)

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  3. Forgive my ignorance, but who permitted this transaction in the first place? I can't see many governing boards giving up so much revenue!

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    1. Fortunately you do not need the BoS's permission to buy and sell land in Fairfax County.

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    2. You darn well should if you are selling to a non-profit that is going to take a property off the tax rolls.

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    3. Yeah...and after the BoS says 'no', because you want it to keep the tax revenue, the county can defend its actions against a Federal lawsuit for violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. That'll show 'em!

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    4. Churches need to pay up6/23/15, 4:11 PM

      Then let's charge them a "land use fee." Who cares what it is called. They are taking advantage of the roads, and other fixed PUBLIC services, while providing questionably little value to anyone who is not a homophobic Anglican.

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    5. ^^^ouch. I mean, churches are obviously accepting of homophobes of many ethnicities. /s

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  4. The area will benefit greatly from their large community outreach programs.

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    1. Churches need to pay up6/23/15, 4:08 PM

      Church "community outreach" largely benefits their limited congregations. Paying property taxes benefits all.

      I'd have to be EXTREMELY poor and destitute to go to a religion-affiliated social service center (soup kitchen, etc.) that offered a serving of jesus along with my meal.

      Hospitals offer enough to communities to justify property tax exemptions, and all without a serving of Jesus. Churches EMPHATICALLY DO NOT.

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    2. ^^ Like you, I hope you're never in such desperate need that your "only" remaining option is to accept help from a religious organization, but if you have a choice, try a UU group, if you can find one. They REALLY don't evangelize.

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  5. Some of these comments crack me up. An annual loss of $207k is measly in comparison to the $30MM the BOS authorized to bail out the the useless Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. So, if you're going to gripe, focus on the big ticket items. A more pressing issue will be to prevent activity at the church from completely snarling traffic on Route 50.

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    1. Churches need to pay up6/24/15, 9:15 AM

      Why can't we look at both ends of the problem? Revenue AND spending?

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    2. Or the pay raise that the BoSs gave themselves!

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  6. The level of stupid is particularly strong here in this comment thread!

    The degree of cynicism against churches is alarming.

    The ignorance about property taxes, government "approval" of real estate purchases and general cluelessness about budgets makes me so glad I don't live in Fairfax. You people are DOOMED!

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    1. If you don't live in Fairfax, one would wonder why you waste your time pointing out stupidity on a smallish blog catering to one particular small region of Fairfax county.

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    2. Well Adam, in this particular instance I disagree with your objection to a comment from a person who does not live in Fairfax.

      I strongly agree with this commenter that the level of stupidity; the incredible but proudly arrogant ignorance of lack of the U.S. Constitution and the founding principles of the United States of America on display in this set of comments is so stunning I gladly welcome any commenter no matter their location of residence willing to point it out.

      Furthermore, I add the idiots on parade making these comments are no doubt graduates of a public education system and no doubt believe the BS uttered by Obama, Hillary, Liz and our other left-wing extremists leaders that nobody built anything without government; and the government is us.

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    3. Hey there, Anne Coulter! How's trolling the world going today?

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    4. This rhetoric has really found its way into the sewer, where it belongs. Put a manhole cover on it.

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    5. This is interesting, first a school converted from an office building, now a church. I cannot wait to see how this is solved architecturally, specifically for the sanctuary. Maybe they will make a big hole in the middle and place a skylight over it; I am intrigued.

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  7. Here are two points to the Liberals above.

    First, I'm not Anne Coulter but I admire her willingness to stand up to Liberal Authoritarian twits like you.

    Second, my topic was not off-point because one of your Liberal Church-hater fellow-travelers made the point that the Church in question uses PUBLIC goods and services such as roads, but provided in their own limited intellect and view, little or no value to the community.

    Before you offer your (IMHO) inane criticism you should read the entire column and comments before critizing one comment as being off-topic.

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    1. Please, if you're going to claim the label of Christian, try adding a little more LOVE into your life....all I see here is hate...Don't judge others, but find common ground and understanding...

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  8. The overarching financial issue for Fairfax County is wasteful use of taxpayer dollars, not non-profits.

    This County needs to stop pouring cement and creating a costly infrastructure. With a 38% office vacancy rate it would prudent and business friendly to rent space; landlords will hire maintenance people. This will keep government expenses down and allow for job creation.

    The BOS's spendthrift ways need curbing. And, we need a REAL county manager with county planning experience, not an accountant who only trims budgets to suit the will of the Board.

    Non-profits are not the big issue.

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  9. What about the multiple tenants in this building? Aren't they on leases?

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  10. Congrats to them! Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School has been hosting them since they left The Falls Church.

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  11. To Anon: 12:45
    With the huge vacancy rate of office spaces in FFX County (thank you BOS) I am sure they will have an easy time finding another location. What is it now, 38% vacancies?

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  12. Patrick Henry7/15/15, 3:07 PM

    Anonymous, why do you use the name of my favorite poet, songwriter, intellectual, and prophet? Use your own name unless you think Big Brother is watching,

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