When this Main Line church went on the market for $1.7 million, there were some religious organizations that seemed interested in taking a look. That gave residents hope that their historic church wouldn't be demolished and that the food bank that used the church as its headquarters would still be able to use the space. Even the broker for the sale, John Duffy, expressed a preference that a worship group would take it over.
There's now an agreement of sale with Mainline Realty Investors. Though the deal has not officially gone through as of this writing, the degree of confidence is high on all sides. The plan is for 11 condos, not for the demolition of the church. Rather, it's an adaptive reuse project, something at which Mainline Realty excels. The company once received the Lower Merion Township Historic Architecture Review Board Award for a renovation and they consistently preserve period features in other renovations of historical properties. The 19th-century parsonage, the Barrie House, is also slated to become condos. But as the project webpage notes:
All plans and designs ideas for the adaptive re-use of the church and Barrie House are subject to full consideration, review and approval by the Borough of Narberth. Plans are in the development stage only and have not been submitted to the borough. A more urgent question—one the developers can't answer—is what to do about the food bank, which serves 200 adults and 110 children each month, from out-of-work investment bankers to retired saleswomen. Borough officials are trying to find a space for the food bank because, contrary to what one might think, there are people who live on the Main Line who need its services.
· Will This Narberth Church Be Torn Down? [CPHI]
· Narberth food bank is losing its home [Inquirer]