St. Anne Orthodox Church has given up plans to build a church and fellowship hall on Gibson Hill Road, and the congregation’s property there is for sale.
It was in February 2017 that the Albany Planning Commission voted 6-1 to approve a conditional use permit sought by the church for the 2.7 acre property at 1033 Gibson Hill Road N.W. The heavily wooded residential parcel lies northwest of the North Albany roundabout.
A reader asked me what was going on after seeing the property advertised on a real estate site. I emailed Father Stephen Soot, the rector of St. Anne. He’s been away on church business but got back to me on Sunday.
“Yes,” he wrote, “our church has put our North Albany property up for sale. The market is such that costs for developing that lot have gone up considerably and we may have another, more affordable option in front of us.
“I have nothing more definitive to report at this time,” he added. “If our congregation ends up building elsewhere, I will definitely let you know.”
The congregation currently has 176 members, adults and children. Its church is the former Lewisburg Grange Hall.
The North Albany plans approved in 2017 envisioned a church of about 8,600 square feet with a 60-foot-tall onion dome in the style characteristic of the Eastern church. There also would be a fellowship hall of about 13,500 square feet and parking for more than 60 cars. The proposal called for cutting down 157 trees.
On the Zillow real estate site, the acreage is listed for $399,900. The ad calls it “prime real estate perfectly suited for either a custom home or to develop.” (hh)