2018 Solomon Awards

Design & Construction

Warehouse Conversion for Non-Denominational Multi-Ethnic Church

An abandoned warehouse which was previously used to store and repair video gambling equipment is redeemed to provide ministry space for Hope Church, a non-denominational church in upstate South Carolina. McAbee Architects guided the church through the transformation process and achieved valuable ministry space for under $40 per square foot.


WFM Staff  ·  January 18, 2018

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THE CONCEPT

When video gambling became illegal in South Carolina in July of 2000, businesses related to that market lost their source of income and went bankrupt or moved to another state. 

This is a story of redemption of a 47,000 square foot warehouse previously used to support the gambling industry. 

It is now the home of Hope Church, a non-denominational and multi-ethnic church dedicated to serving the communities of upstate South Carolina.  Because of the initial costs involved with new development, it is usually more economical to convert existing buildings into church use than to start with a vacant piece of property. 

A new facility of this size (building only) would normally cost at least 5 million dollars in upstate South Carolina. 

This existing building renovation project came in at less than $40 per square foot or approximately 2 million dollars. 

The positive economics of converting existing space into church use remains true as long as the building has these key features: Adequate roof height to accommodate the headroom needed in the auditorium, A large column to column spacing in order to minimize sightline obstructions in the auditorium, A fire sprinkler system, and A large parking lot. 

This existing warehouse had adequate roof height on one side of the building and had an adequate column to column spacing (even though one column occurred right in the middle of the stage and would have to be removed).  While lacking a large parking lot, the site was large enough to be able to add substantial parking. 

THE DESIGN PROBLEM

The L-shaped pre-engineered building faced into a major intersection on a busy four-lane highway leading into Spartanburg, SC.  The property was in the right place for maximum exposure for church use but did not have enough existing parking spaces. 

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