Alliance Church won't move
Local church not planning to change locations despite major development taking place around it
Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 06:00 am
The St. Albert Alliance Church is staying put, despite a major development moving in around it.
Lead pastor Jeremy Peters told the Gazette Wednesday that the church will remain in its location at 25416 Villeneuve Rd., west of Walmart.
Administrators at the church had previously considered moving to another location within the new development site. But they are lacking the financial support for the move, Peters said.
They are now discussing the sale of some undeveloped land behind the building, he said.
“Melcor bought all the land around us and we’ve been in conversation with them over the last year-and-a-half,” he said. “And recently, as in February, we engaged in a conversation to sell some of our land to them … for their ongoing development projects.”
Melcor Developments is planning to develop 202 hectares (500 acres) north and west of Walmart in St. Albert’s north.
Senior development manager Susan Monson previously told the Gazette that the majority of the development will consist of housing, with about 14 hectares (35 acres) set aside for commercial development. Housing options will encompass everything from apartment and condominium buildings, to duplexes, townhouses and estate homes, she said.
Melcor is now working with city council and administration on approving the area structure plan for the site and hopes to start construction in the summer.
Monson later said that Melcor and the Alliance Church have been in good working communications all along and confirmed that the church is planning to stay.
“The development will go on all sides of them so their church will become a part of the future community,” she said.
St. Albert Alliance Church serves about 600 people in the region, said Peters.
The church first bought five acres of land in 1979, later adding another 10 acres for “future considerations,” he said. At this time, the church isn’t considering an expansion of the existing building as it could easily accommodate another couple hundred people, he said.
The land that they are planning to sell has not been in use, he said.
He added that relocating was an option that came up during a conversation with the developer but there was never any compelling reason to change locations. He said the church sees the development in the area as “a good thing.”
“We think it will be a great thing to be in the centre of a new community here and we certainly hope to be a relevant place of hope and encouragement and serving within the community that will be forming around us,” he said.