Pictured above: Artist’s rendering of the proposed Jubilee Church. Image courtesy of Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen and Jubilee Church.
By Erin Achenbach
Jubilee Church will have a new home in Sunset Hills after the Board of Aldermen voted to allow the development of the church in an office park.
An ordinance to approve an amended development plan to allow the church at 10801 Sunset Office Drive was approved 6-2 by the board, with both Ward 3 Aldermen Kurt Krueger and Nathan Lipe as the dissenting votes.
Ward 1 Aldermen Dee Baebler and Ann McMunn voted to approve the measure, as well as Ward 2 Aldermen Casey Wong and Steve Bersche and Ward 4 Aldermen Thompson Price and Mark Colombo.
The Oct. 9 vote was the end of a monthslong effort by Jubilee Church to move into the space. Their proposal was twice denied over the summer by the board. Mayor Pat Fribis broke a tie at a June 12 meeting, voting “nay” on allowing the church to set up shop in the office park.
“The reason I vote ‘nay’ is I just don’t think that’s an appropriate place in our community for a church,” Fribis said when breaking the tie. “It’s an office park, and at some time I think a new office will be more beneficial to our community.”
On Sept. 11, the church tried for a third time to gain approval, after a handful of people involved with Jubilee Church testified to the board that the church was suitable for the unusual space. No alderman made a motion for a second reading, so the bill appeared on the agenda for the Oct. 9 meeting, where it passed without fanfare.
The office park, owned by Chris Kreutz, has made attempts to draw companies to lease in the office park, but few have taken up the offer. The church is one of the few proposals the office park had received in a lengthy amount of time.
“It would be nice to drive down Watson and see something being built — something new,” Price said at the Sept. 11 meeting. “To me, that’s progress. To just leave it sit and wait for something better, I don’t know what better could be.”