FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church chooses a path for its property

(Looking northwest toward Admiral Church. WSB photo from February)

Back in February, we covered a community meeting at which Admiral Church leaders explained three paths they were considering to avoid an eventual financial crisis. At an all-church meeting earlier this month, the church has decided which path to take. As summarized by pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, “We have decided to start the process of drafting an MOU with Homestead Community Land Trust to gift them the total of our real estate for the development of permanently affordable, ownership-focused housing. The development will include a flexible use space exclusively for Admiral Church’s ministries to continue in the North Admiral neighborhood.” He offered context in a message to the congregation, published in the church newsletter this past Sunday – here’s an excerpt:

Those who gathered and those who voted by proxy [on April 3] decided that Admiral Church would no longer be a wealthy landowner in North Admiral. The congregation has consented to begin a process by which we discern who we are and the problems we want to solve in cooperation with Homestead Community Land Trust, who themselves are focused on solving the problem of generational poverty. This discernment is not new, but is part of a legacy of renewal here at Admiral Church. We are called to honor our ancestors, learn our history, and meet the current moment with the same fierce Love and welcoming Spirit that kept this church relevant and impactful for generations. So many institutions in our society are living off of their wealth rather than living into their purpose. Admiral Church has always been a church of purpose, a gathering place and a sending space for faithful people in North Admiral. We are choosing to trust God even more, extending Christ’s footsteps into the world.

The church sits on a half-acre of land at 4320 SW Hill in North Admiral, zoned for lowrise multifamily residential development. Its building is 60 years old. Church leaders have been considering some form of redevelopment for three years. They’re promising more information soon about their chosen path.

32 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church chooses a path for its property"

  • Holly143 April 12, 2022 (4:46 pm)

    Well there goes our property values. Did you think to ask the surrounding neighbors for their opinion???????? This is the last thing we need in N Admiral, MORE low income housing in west seattle next to a bus stop

    • WSB April 12, 2022 (5:02 pm)

      Homestead does not build “low-income housing.” You can follow the link to read up on what they do and what a “community land trust” is. – TR

      • Jenben April 12, 2022 (5:43 pm)

        What a courageous move!! Great plan and I’m thrilled for more moves like this one to help end generational poverty and create actual change in the world 

    • Neighbor April 12, 2022 (5:20 pm)

      The last thing North Admiral needs is more pearl clutching NIMBYism,

      • Brian April 12, 2022 (6:22 pm)

        Yes. Seattle home prices up more than 13% in just one year, on top of double that the year before, and so on. But somehow this church is going to be the end of all of that??? How astonishing. If there’s one thing we love to despise in America, it’s poverty.

    • Lagartija Nick April 12, 2022 (5:53 pm)

      Holly, your response is gross and frankly I’m glad you’re upset. I’ll bet you were one of loudest “neighbors” who complained about their shelter plan. After that debacle I’m not surprised (but am pleased) they’ve decided not to reach out to their “neighbors” concerning this plan.

      • WSB April 12, 2022 (7:15 pm)

        They didn’t “decide not to reach out” – as noted, there was a community meeting in February, plus the previous meetings back when redevelopment originally came up, and if any neighbors are actually members of the congregation, they would have been part of the decisionmaking meeting on April 3rd (which I only found out about by reading the church bulletin to see if there was any update following the February meeting, which in turn I only knew about by checking the church website).

        • Karen Dobbs April 12, 2022 (8:42 pm)

          FYI: that building is not 70 years old: I can remember before it was built (my family belonged), in the late 1950s/early 1960s;  I was in elementary school & I’m 68!

          • WSB April 12, 2022 (8:47 pm)

            I had 70 from past notes but county parcel viewer says 1962 so we’ll change to 60. – TR

          • Bill April 14, 2022 (3:30 pm)

            There was a church there before that — Congregational Churh — I went to some Sunday school classes there in Spring of 1953

    • Wsresident April 12, 2022 (6:21 pm)

      Geez, not hiding your privilege are you? Maybe you can get your kids to go help out, volunteer with the building. I find your comment grossly self-centered and part of the reason why Seattle is in the position we are in right now. It’s the churches land to do as they see fit with it, how audacious of you to assume your input should matter. I’m sure you have plenty of equity in your home, not to have this be a huge hinderance to your wealth or privilege status. I’m super grateful to see a church, lending a hand to “lower income” people, because lord knows the neighbors don’t care. 

    • Evergreener2 April 12, 2022 (10:06 pm)

      Yea, I am so sorry to hear that they didn’t decide to sell to some multi-millionaire techie who surely would’ve preserved your property value. I’m sure you would’ve been besties.

      • John Schmidt April 12, 2022 (10:23 pm)

        If you’ve ever wondered if systemic racism exists, I think Holly’s post is a really good example. Many times the  privileged resist diversity by using the property values argument. And then the government and financial entities fully support it. Thank God, literally, that the Church is involved and they can be the positive force to take us toward equity and justice.

        • Pessoa April 13, 2022 (10:06 am)

          What proof do you have that Holly’s attitude is motivated by racism, John?  Making unsubstantiated charges against someone is not in keeping with the ideals of equity and justice.   

          • Ron Swanson April 13, 2022 (11:37 am)

            You’ve got to be kidding.  Complaints about the alleged effects of “low income housing” are about the least subtle type of racist dog whistle around.

          • Elton April 14, 2022 (12:49 pm)

            It’s either motivated by racism or extreme narcissism and entitlement, take your pick.

    • Lisa April 12, 2022 (10:40 pm)

      This is not “low income housing” (not that I agree with you that that’s a bad thing.) Homestead Community Landtrust  creates permanently affordable homes for families making 60-80% of median income….exactly the kind of folks who are getting rapidly priced out of the city. As Tracy suggested, please learn about this model. 

  • snowskier April 12, 2022 (5:45 pm)

    This sounds like a great opportunity to ease  a burden on the church while providing space to continue their mission and help provide housing ownership and stability to community members of more modest means.  Talk about finding a solution that proves you ‘love thy neighbor’.  I’m not worried about postal workers, social workers or teachers owning homes in the neighborhood ;)

  • Mj April 12, 2022 (5:57 pm)

    Holly – ownership focussed affordable housing is needed.  And the Admiral Church DID reach out to neighbors in February.

  • Pessoa April 12, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    Many are benefiting from – and often living off – untaxed, unearned intergenerational transfer of wealth.  I don’t blame anyone who is, but the ease with which some fool themselves with the “I’m a self-made man/woman” as they look down on others who didn’t have the cushion of  mom and dad’s healthy 401K or house, is really one of the most stunning feats of self-deception.   It’s the sort of topic that will provoke uncomfortable, awkward silences at any fashionable, affluent liberal or conservative gathering.   Good on this church if they follow through. 

  • Here April 12, 2022 (7:00 pm)

    More people should take the initiative and start being good family, friends, and neighbors. It doesn’t take much. 

  • Ryan April 12, 2022 (7:28 pm)

    Generally I’m not a fan of organized religion but this is a cool move. Good job. 

  • AB April 12, 2022 (7:36 pm)

    This is the “hands and feet” This is about the most Christian action possible. Bless them.

  • AN April 12, 2022 (7:55 pm)

    I’m a straight-up atheist but THIS, this ethos is what the planet and her people need. “Who are you and what problem do you want to solve?” are questions we should all be asking ourselves. Holly143, I only wish you’d used your actual name, though I do at least appreciate knowing your answer.

    • Aleks April 13, 2022 (5:32 am)

      Do you think the church would let your religion members meet there instead? I think your membership is probably outpacing any other religion, but this is solely based on the amount of people who can’t resist letting everyone know they’re atheist. I don’t ever hear any other religious people do that, so you guys are probably getting a lot of members!

  • WS Res April 12, 2022 (11:23 pm)

    Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

  • Belvidear April 13, 2022 (9:32 am)

    Bravo to the church and its leaders for a decision that shows responsibility, creativity, and foresight.  

  • Kram April 13, 2022 (9:41 am)

    I’m really glad Holley’s comment is a one-off. It’s so bad that I’m hopeful it’s just internet trolling. The last thing North
    Admiral (or anywhere) needs is more luxury housing. It’s crazy to me
    that we are still having these conversations! I applaud the church for
    their decision. It doesn’t seem to be the most profitable but the most
    rewarding to the community. We need more leadership like this if we are
    going to be a better society/city.

  • Mom Jones April 13, 2022 (11:54 am)

    How generous. This could be a great gift to the Duwamish people. This could be the start of a land hold on their own traditional territory. 

    • WSB April 13, 2022 (11:59 am)

      That was brought up at the community meeting in February. The tribe was not interested, the church said, as they’re busy with another repatriation closer to the Longhouse.

  • gebee April 13, 2022 (3:19 pm)

    While I applaude the churches decision, as a socially responsible European I wonder why a 4 Mill. property value should not be taxed?! Having worked a while at a Brokerage DT its amazing how much wealth churches acclaim and still search for financial loopholes. Non profit and tax exempt status questionable?? Holly I bet the  „Advisers in the shiny DT Towers“ will protect your interests.

  • Tyna April 30, 2022 (11:09 pm)

    I’m so proud of this church. The property was under-utilized, and it was important to the pastor and congregation to do something with it that would meaningfully and sustainably help the community. They searched, sought input, prayed and made a great decision. Just imagine if every church cared more about the community than its stained glass. I’m a neighbor and I thank you.

Sorry, comment time is over.