City Council members decided Tuesday that a church property for sale at 263 Escuela Ave. was a deal too good to pass up.
The council spent $3.5 million on the United Pentecostal Inc. church, a .9-acre property which sits across from the Senior Center. The consent calendar item passed with little discussion.
"It's such a strategic location," said council member Jac Siegel in a phone interview Monday. "First of all we need extra parking for the Senior Center. There are a number of other possibilities, one of which is potentially a teen center. We don't know yet, we haven't had that discussion. To pass it up at this point would be a real mistake."
The city will pull the money from its $5 million capital improvement reserve, which would be replaced by a lump sum of lease revenues from the downtown affordable family housing project on Evelyn Avenue, which has yet to be approved.
A lease scheme with the city allows the church to remain for a few years until it finds another, larger building.