Church seeking to sell the 'Holy Doughnut' in the heart of King of Prussia
Updated: Feb 12, 2019
Referred to by some as the “Holy Doughnut” for its circular shape and hole in the middle, the American Baptist Churches USA has put its King of Prussia, Pa., property up for sale.
This is the second time the organization has put the 48.5-acre site on the market. In 2006, it explored selling it and the going price at the time was around $20 million, according people familiar with the property.
The property falls within a new zoning district that Upper Merion adopted which allows dense, mixed-use development. It’s expected a buyer would come along, raze the structures that are on the site and build anew. Aside from a former golf course property down the road that is under development with apartments, retail and other commercial spaces, seldom does a nearly 50-acre developable tract come available in King of Prussia.
This time around the organization has issued a request for expressions of interest for the potential purchase or redevelopment of the site. The property at 588 N. Gulph Road is well located at Gulph Road and First Avenue with nearby access to Route 422 and other major roadways.
American Baptist has been at the property since 1962 when it bought the land and then had two buildings constructed for its national offices. One of the structures is a 145,000-square-foot circular building and the other is a 126,000-square-foot crescent-shaped building. At one point, more than 700 employees worked at the facility but that number has dwindled down to about 150.
As part of this process, the church expects to select a developer for the site and then will ask them to outline plans for how it will potentially redevelop it. American Baptist has engaged CSG Urban Partners of Washington, D.C., to help it with the evaluation of those who might bid on the property.
“It is important to [American Baptist Churches USA] that redevelopment of the property will make a positive contribution to the local community,” the organization said in a statement.
If a buyer is selected and a transaction is completed, American Baptist will look for new space within the region to house its local operations.
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