We signed a three-year lease on 5,800 sq. feet of space in downtown Stanwood back in mid-may (old Jimmie’s Pawnshop across from SC News and Stanwood Foursquare). This space, when ready, will hold our services, kids’ classrooms, and offices. We are really thankful for God’s grace in this, and excited for the opportunity to put our “roots” down a little deeper in this community we love.

Just wanted to give an update on the work we are doing on the space. We’ve been somewhat stalled for the past month waiting to figure out an issue with the permit for improvements. The city informed us that because there is an apartment upstairs, and because we are changing the usage to a gathering space, we will need a two-hour fire separation between our space and the apartment. This would require us to remove the drop ceiling in the front third of the building (an arduous process) and put up 2-4 layers of drywall. It would also require more drywall around the stairwell, because it’s technically part of the residence. Doing all of this would take significant time and money (likely $10,000-$15,000).

As we’ve been trying to figure out how to proceed, the landlord decided to evict the tenant upstairs. Not only that, if it mitigates the need for the fire separation, the landlord is willing to leave the space empty (and not receive the rent he could be getting from it). This is very gracious on his part.

The last few weeks, we’ve been trying to figure out exactly what the city requires for the property to be “legally abandoned,” and thus not require the fire separation. They are wanting the kitchen and bathroom removed. There is also one other issue related to the plumbing that the landlord needs to figure out how to address.

All in all, it looks like this route will work, and we will be able to proceed without installing additional fire separation. We should find out for sure in the next few days, and then we can resubmit the permit, and contractor work can continue.

In the meantime, we are tackling some non-permit projects: finishing up removing the carpet glue in the areas where we are leaving the concrete exposed, painting the exterior and bathrooms, fixing the t-bar ceiling and ceiling tiles where needed.

We hope to have our first Sunday morning services in the new space sometime in August. We will keep you posted.