Church of St. Louis City hopes to take over and relocate the actual building

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Pastor Jonathan Davis grew up at Grace Baptist Church. He followed in his father’s footsteps and now leads the congregation at the church in the shadow of The Dome in Downtown St. Louis.

But the church has faced many challenges in its more than 60 years. It was originally located at Pruitt-Igoe and was later moved to a location on Cass Avenue. They were forced to leave the site in 2016 when the National Geospatial Intelligence Service selected the North St. Louis for its new campus.

“We had to relocate a few times, we had to make room for the NGA,” Pastor Davis said.

They moved to a church at 7 and Cole. It was a former Catholic church. But now their lease is up and they have to move out again, this time to make room for more development.

The property is owned by Paul McKee and Northside Regeneration LLC. It’s in what’s known as the Bottling District. It’s an area of ​​development that has faltered for years. City of St. Louis approved a plan a decade ago to push this development forward but it remains vacant and an eyesore for those driving into the City Center. News 4 has contacted Northside Regeneration for information on the site’s future. The hawker for the area north of downtown says he doesn’t know the plan.

But Davis says he’s not worried about the move. He just wanted to go to church with them.

“They say you can have anything outside the building that you want. I said can we have the building? And they say you can have the building,” he explained.

So that was their plan. One company says it can, but will cost between $750,000 and $1 million. They’ve got land on North Grand in the Jeff Vanderlou neighborhood, where it could go. Only one petition for St. Louis to make that happen, and they hope to be able to get funding from some of the Rams settlement.

A spokesperson for the City of St. Louis said there has been no decision yet on how those settlement funds will be divided.

Davis says they have until the end of the year.

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