Bethel Church DC360 at 60 I Street is slated for redevelopment. Cornerstone Development has plans to develop a 186,000 SF residential building on the church property. The site is located across the street from the Randall School site, which will be redeveloped by Lowe Enterprises and Telesis/Rubell into a modern art museum and residential project.
Waterfront Academy is located on the second floor of Bethel, so as a result of the church redevelopment and the school’s growth, it is searching for a new home and has embarked on a $13 million fundraising campaign. Waterfront Academy is a dual immersion (Spanish and English) Montessori school with emphasis on charity and stewardship in the Catholic tradition. The school wants to stay in the SWDC area, where it’s been since opening in 2014. Before opening at Bethel, Waterfront Academy planned to locate on the 1200 block of South Capitol Street.
According to a fundraising email sent by the school, the new space will allow Waterfront Academy to serve at least 135 students each year. The school will be modeled after the traditional Spanish colony and will feature a Chapel, Library, Teacher’s Lounge, Administrative Office Suite, Infirmary, Gymnasium, Kitchen, one Nido (Infant) Classroom, two Toddler Classrooms, three Casa (Preschool) Classrooms, two Lower Elementary Classrooms, two Upper Elementary Classrooms, one Middle School Classroom, and an outdoor plaza featuring an Urban Farm, Outdoor Classrooms, and Natural Play Space.
Bethel Church DC360 is the latest house of worship to face redevelopment in Southwest. St. Augustine’s at 6th and Maine moved into its new space in 2016, adjacent to 525 Water condos that was developed by PN Hoffman. A few blocks east on M Street, St. Matthews’ long journey to a new home is months away from completion as construction continues on its new sanctuary and adjacent Valo apartment building by Trammell Crow. Riverside Baptist Church at 7th Street and Maine Avenue partnered with PN Hoffman to redevelop their site with space for a new sanctuary along Maine Avenue and an apartment building at the corner of 7th and I streets named The Banks. Over at Westminster Church, the congregation is finalizing an agreement with a developer to build a new sanctuary on the 600 block of I Street along with mixed income housing. One house of worship in the neighborhood that didn’t get redeveloped into housing is the Living Hope Church at 1200 1st Street. The building has been converted into Kadampa Meditation Center Washington DC Temple for World Peace and received a new paint job and signage in recent months. Although the old Friendship Baptist Church at Delaware Avenue and H Street was originally planned to be redeveloped as a condominium project, the developer changed course and leased the space to Blind Whino SW Arts Club. Land adjacent to the church building was slated to become a temporary housing facility for homeless families, but those plans were scuttled and the shelter will instead be built on the Unity Clinic site at Delaware Avenue and I Street.