Philly.com- The demolition notice distributed across parts of Bella Vista last week caught many South Philadelphia residents by surprise.
“We are writing to inform you that we expect to begin demolishing our church on Monday, June 18,” began the letter, drafted by Christian Street Baptist Church Inc. “The proposed demolition is for the entire [two] story structure.”
What the letter didn’t say: Developer Ori Feibush’s offer to help preserve the 1890s church in the heart of the booming neighborhood is officially off the table.
The announcement to demolish the Christian Street Baptist Church marks the latest twist in a year-long saga. After agreeing to buy the church at 1020-24 Christian St. last summer for $1.5 million, with plans to raze it and build townhouses in its place, Feibush in April said he would be willing to transfer his agreement to a preservation-minded buyer, who could redevelop the church while allowing it to stand.
To sweeten the deal, Feibush said he would be willing to kick in $500,000 — as long as the buyer was willing to put up $1 million cash.