Vintage Church has completed its purchase of the historic Long View Center across from Moore Square in downtown Raleigh, according to Wake County property records.
Vintage had the center under contract until Dec. 30, and had a goal of raising $400,000 to complete the purchase.
Vintage acquired the property from local developer and philanthropist Gordon Smith III. Smith’s company, The Wood Pile, filed for bankruptcy in early 2009 after the real estate market collapsed and has been selling off land around Moore Square to pay off creditors.
Vintage paid $2.2 million in cash and handed over the deed to a 7.8-acre tract on New Bern Avenue that the church acquired for $1.7 million in November 2011. The property, once owned by the Raleigh Rescue Mission, is vacant.
Vintage acquired both the 30,000-square-foot Long View Center’s sanctuary, which dates to 1880, and its annex. The purchase does not include a smaller building owned by Smith’s wife, or an unfinished office building that is also owned by Wood Pile. Vintage has, for a limited time, the right-of-first-refusal to acquire those buildings should buyers come forward.
The purchase agreement requires Vintage to honor a number of covenants on the property, including that the center remain a venue for live acoustic music and concerts. The center has recently hosted events both for the Hopscotch music festival and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s convention and festival.
Vintage has been leasing space in the 117 S. West St. building that was once home to Jillian’s. It now draws between 800 and 1,000 members to its three Sunday services. The church also holds weekly services at its campuses near North Hills and in downtown Durham.