A CHURCH and associated buildings will be flattened in central Wodonga and replaced by 22 townhouses under a Lutheran parish plan.
Construction firm Alatalo Bros aims to sell the premises for $450,000 each with money generated going towards building a new church at Victory Lutheran College in west Wodonga.
Parish council chairman Phillip Edwards said the plan for St John’s in Havelock Street was linked to the poor state of the 1978 church.
He said the church’s flat roof contributed to pooling of water which then drips into the house of worship.
Alatalo Bros is seeking expressions of interest in the townhouses before lodging a development application with Wodonga Council.
“We’re going to be building them for no profit and then the church will have enough money to build a new church at Victory Lutheran College,” Alatalo Bros operations manager Mike Alatalo said.
He predicted it would be six months before plans were submitted to the council for the residences he expects to sell for $450,000.
“It depends what people want, we haven’t locked in designs, but they would be around that 450 (mark),” Mr Alatalo said.
“You’re looking at 190sq m of living space and a double garage – they’re quite large and luxurious.”
Mr Edwards said the sale of eight units would cover development costs and income beyond that would be channelled into a new church.
He said preliminary concept designs had resulted in a $1.8 million price tag for a fresh St John’s, which would be built on the corner of Drage Road and Derwent Way just west of the school.
The church, 1956 pastor’s office and op shop occupy the Havelock Street land, with two weekly services attracting a total of 80 parishioners.
Mr Edwards said temporary premises would be used for services between demolition and construction.
“We’re looking at worshipping at Victory College in one of the classrooms or multi-purpose rooms – that could be for up to three years,” he said.
Havelock Central, as the project has been branded, will be competing for buyers against an 86-unit plan for Junction Place approved last week by Wodonga Council.
“I guess we both complement each other because we’ve got the shopping centres in between both developments,” Mr Edwards said.