Ask Project Phoenix FAQ
Ask Project Phoenix FAQ
Consolidated Q&A from the Ask Project Phoenix events held September 24, 27, and October 3, 2017
The questions are grouped by topic for easier browsing: Our search criteria, Selecting and approving a property, Moving, and General Q&A.
Our Search Criteria
What is the scorecard?
To see examples of some of the properties we have scored and declined to pursue, see: Scorecard Results of Evaluated Properties.
What is the score for our current building at 1911 Cliff Valley Way?
Fairly low because of accessibility problems, lack of parking, and the crime score.
What were the highest priorities from the survey?
The Scorecard reflects the highest priorities. If you look at the “weight” column for each item scored for a property, you can see the relative importance. A high weight number, such as 10, indicates the most importance, and a lower weight number, such as 1, reflects less relative importance, based on the results of the survey.
As we evaluate properties, how important is a playground space for the children?
Very important. This is one of the items we score using our scorecard, every time we consider a property.
Would we reconsider the search criteria if we can’t find properties that meet the criteria?
Our current criteria are already fairly broad, and the longer we look, the broader our criteria get.
Will we still have a sanctuary in the round?
It depends on what property we get.
How much acreage do we need?
We need a minimum of 3.5 acres to accommodate adequate parking, green space, and our sanctuary and offices. Depending on the property and whether it’s a single building or multi-building site, we might need up to 5 acres.
Are there any properties in Decatur, Midtown, downtown?
None that we have found that we can afford.
I heard the Rehoboth church is back on the market. Would we consider it?
Rehoboth Presbyterian is not available. The property has been under contract for 8+ months, and is awaiting finalization of several permits, including a Land Disturbance Permit, which is one of the final steps toward development.
Selecting and approving a property
Will there be an opportunity for the congregation to weigh in on various properties before one is selected?
The congregation will have the opportunity to vote Yes or No on one property that we recommend. It will have been vetted, have due diligence done, have been pre-approved by board, and will follow preinformation provided to the congregation. Voting the property down will mean we have to lease.
With the rules of UUCA regarding advance notice for a meeting and voting—will that work in a fastpaced real estate deal?
Any seller will be aware throughout the negotiations that we are a congregation, and that we need to vote on any purchase deal.
What obligations do we have if multiple letters of intent are accepted?
None. There is no obligation until a purchase and sale are approved. Letters of intent are non-binding by definition.
Are the properties presented during these presentations the only ones under consideration?
They are the most likely, but the search is currently ongoing. NOTE: Because of the sensitivity of the negotiation and offer process, congregants are asked not to discuss any of the potential properties outside of UUCA.
Have we compared the cost of long term leasing vs. purchasing?
Yes. A long-term lease (5+ years) will require finding a building that is 25,000-30,000 square feet, and will incur costs for us to adapt the building for our use as a congregational facility. The costs will range from $450,000 – $650,000 per year, plus improvements. Revenue from interest on our capital is currently less than $100,000 annually.
Why have we not discussed our vision as we did when we built the new wing?
Our vision was discussed at length during the facilities study and several congregational surveys. We are not, however, finished with that discussion. We are planning an event, to be held soon, like the one we held several weeks ago to discuss racism. We’ll have small groups of people gather together to have a discussion of our hopes and dreams for the future.
When will the small group event to share our visions for the future be held?
Stay tuned, and watch the Weekly Update, The City, and order of service inserts. That’s where we will publicize the events before they happen.
When the pews were last replaced we sold the fabric as pillows. Can we do the same with the current fabric for pews?
Probably, unless we find a use for them in the new location.
Interim/Temporary Location: have we explored hotels?
Can we move by 3/31/18? a) Yes, and we have discovered that renting space in hotels is cost-prohibitive – as much as $4,000 per day. b) It is too soon to say if we can move by March 31. We’ll constantly be revisiting that question as we move forward.
Are we going to look for the box(es) of Braille hymnal sheets that were reportedly purchased in 2002 or 2003? Absolutely. We will be going through every nook and cranny of UUCA as we prepare to move. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
What should I do if I want to ask a question or suggest a property for consideration?
Email ProjectPhoenix@uuca.org. When possible, responses will be provided in updates to this FAQ, so all congregants can benefit from the information.
What kind of feedback are you getting from the congregation?
Very positive, regarding possibilities. There have been many suggestions about properties, and our small group event, which is coming soon, will collect even more congregational input about thoughts and aspirations for our future.
What is causing the most anxiety?
The thing that troubles most people is that we don’t yet know where we’re going to move. We expect to know more by late October, and progress will be communicated to the congregation.