By Agrippina Fadel
The City of Tamarac purchased the Church of God of Prophecy building for future redevelopment after commissioners unanimously approved the 1.275 million purchase contract.
Located at 4959 N. State Road 7, the property is over a half acre, and the building has 9,312-square-foot commercial space that will be demolished once the purchase goes through.
Funding for the purchase comes from $5 million set aside and earmarked for economic development.
Lori Funderwhite, Tamarac’s Economic Development Manager, said the acquisition of the property is a tremendous economic opportunity for the city and added that Tamarac already owns the property next door at 4949 N. State Road 7.
“By purchasing this property and assembling these two parcels for a larger site, the city will significantly enhance the value proposition for an attractive economic development project,” Funderwhite said, adding the location on State Road 7 is a gateway into Tamarac with high traffic counts, which would be attractive for future commercial developers.
According to Funderwhite, the Tamarac economic development strategic plan adopted by the commission in 2018 specifically identified this property for a targeted commercial revitalization focus area that would be prime for commercial or mixed-use redevelopment potential.
“It is an excellent opportunity for the city to invest and assemble these parcels for something larger that will revitalize this corridor and eventually bring the city fiscal return on its investment,” she said.
Commissioner Marlon Bolton supported the purchase but had his doubts.
“It is bittersweet because everybody knows I adore churches, and I really wanted Bishop Ferguson to succeed in the area,” said Bolton, who goes by “Prophet Fire” as pastor of Praise Experience Worldwide Outreach Church.
Bolton asked the staff if Ferguson was forced to sell the building. Funderwhite replied the bishop was interested in the sale and presented the city with his terms.
“From one pastor to another, you buy these properties, and you hope your congregation would flourish, and then it doesn’t happen, and you get a little bit disappointed,” said Bolton, who was ordered by the state to close his church in 2021 after failing to pay workers’ comp.
City staff assured the commission that the deal was a win-win for everyone involved, and the Church of God of Prophecy already had plans to take its congregation elsewhere.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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