Nova Scotia

St. John's United Church in Halifax listed for sale at $1.35M

After seven years of vacancy and two weeks on the market listed at $1.35 million, a nearly century-old Halifax church may finally get a new owner.

Real estate agent Ashley Urquhart says a conditional offer from a local developer has been accepted

St. John's United Church on Windsor Street has been empty since January 2009. ( Robert Short/CBC)

After seven years of vacancy a nearly century-old Halifax church may finally get a new owner.

The old red brick St. John's United Church on Windsor Street was listed for sale this month for $1.35 million. Along with the church, the sale also includes a two-storey home on Willow Street the congregation used for office space.

While most of the church has been emptied, the property's buyer would get the church organ, which is built into the building structure and impossible to remove.

Real estate agent Ashley Urquhart with Turner Drake & Partners Ltd. said the owners have accepted a conditional offer on the property from a local developer. 

While it is still too early to say what the developer may have in mind for the church, the property is zoned as residential.

"I thought originally it was more of a teardown," Urquhart said. "The church is fairly derelict, it has been without utilities for seven years now, and you can imagine the state of the inside.

"However, some folks we toured through said they could probably salvage it or at least keep up the facade and keep that look of a church, but perhaps convert it to condominiums."

The congregation tried for years to convince Halifax regional council to allow it to tear down the church and build a complex for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered seniors.

Council rejected the proposal in July 2013 after neighbours objected to the imposing size of the proposed development. The congregation voted in 2014 to give up on the plan. 

The church was originally built in 1918, but has been sitting empty since January 2009, when the congregation relocated to the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. The congregation had decided the church was in disrepair and upgrade costs were no longer affordable.

The vacant building also suffered several break-ins over the years and rising insurance costs also played a factor in the church's decision to sell the property.


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