September 27, 2012 by Sarah M
// By Sarah McKenzie //
Westminster Presbyterian leaders have announced plans to expand the church’s presence on Nicollet Mall with the purchase of 1221 Nicollet Mall, an office building next door.
“We see this as an opportunity for Westminster to serve the people of this city for the next 100 years,” said Westminster Senior Pastor Tim Hart-Andersen, in a news statement, adding the church is “entering an era of growth.”
The 1221 Nicollet Mall building had a former life as a Wells Fargo business center. Westminster also purchased the Marimark apartment building, 1226 Marquette Ave. S., earlier this summer, and announced it plans to fund 150 new units of affordable housing in the downtown area.
Church leaders will engage in a long-term planning process to determine what to do with the 1221 Nicollet Mall property.
“Westminster has a legacy of leadership in this city,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman in a prepared statement. “As a founding member of the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, they’ve helped hundreds of people who were living in shelters and on the streets.”
Anticipating continued residential population growth downtown, Westminster is looking at expanding its ministries for families and children, and is exploring new intergenerational initiatives as well.
Church leaders plan to engage downtown neighbors and the faith community in 2013 about how to proceed with its expansion plans.
Founded in 1857, Westminster has 3,000 members.