Houston/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on April 07, 2024
Houston's Historic Wesley AME Church to be Revitalized into 'Gospel Square' with $4.1M HUD GrantSource: Google Street View

The historic Wesley AME Church, a landmark at risk of demolition, is now slated for a second life as Gospel Square, a mixed-use development promising to anchor Houston's Third Ward with a vibrant community hub. This Saturday, a breakthrough was announced with a $4.1 million HUD grant awarded to the City of Houston for the church's rebirth. It's a game-changer, according to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who described the grant as "the first of its kind in the nation," in a statement obtained by KHOU.

In the heart of a neighborhood that's seen its fair share of changes, the redevelopment plans for Gospel Square include maintaining the former Wesley AME Church's exterior, to honor its history. Reported by ABC13, the National Housing Partnership Foundation, a nonprofit aiming to preserve and create affordable housing, is spearheading the transformation, wedging in among the new construction, 50 residential units tailored for households earning at most 60% of the area median income.

The project isn't just about refurbishing old bricks and mortar. Offering more than just a nostalgia trip, several prominent gospel singers gathered to celebrate the church's rich musical legacy. According to KHOU, V Michael McKay said, "It's going to provide us an avenue to document a legacy of those who have gone on before as it relates to gospel music." In the future Gospel Square, residents and visitors can look forward to spaces like a café, event venue, and gospel museum.

With the total budget peaking at $26.8 million, the city previously set aside $3.8 million for the land acquisition, wrapping in $200,000 for due diligence and transaction fees. The multimillion-dollar project is more than a facelift, planning to introduce a courtyard, recording studio, and office conference space. Strolling past the new digs, expected to cruise to completion by July, they will see energy-efficient retrofits meshing with the original architecture.

The proposal doesn't come without community involvement. The City of Houston Housing & Community Development Department extended an invitation for feedback via the city of Houston's website. Gospel Square will soon hum with a blend of affordable housing, heritage-rich entertainment, and the contagious rhythm of entrepreneurial spirit—a testament to the city's commitment to repurposing its history for the future's sake.

Houston-Real Estate & Development