Gracefully Growing Together

Gracefully Growing Together

First United Methodist Church of Miami’s plans for redevelopment.

As you may be aware, the First United Methodist Church of Miami is exploring options to redevelop its property at 400 Biscayne Boulevard to allow the church and its congregation to gracefully grow together in community.

The church is working with a strategic team of trusted professionals for this development discovery process. This carefully selected team will help us to effectively fulfill the church’s mission of growth and to look at opportunities in the possible creation of a mixed-used facility in partnership with a development firm.

This ‘mixed-use facility’ would include a new church and likely residential, office and retail building as part of the future plans. The church conceptually visualizes its presence in the new facility to equate to 30,000 square feet including a state of the art sanctuary with majestic views facing the bay and adequate office and operational space. The church’s vision is to create a hub downtown with missional spokes in surrounding areas to continue its work in outreach and mission. Currently FUMC of Miami is finalizing a five and ten-year strategic plan in order to best serve and bless the downtown community.

FUMC Miami is not the first urban church to undergo this type of redevelopment endeavor. There are a multitude of churches in large metropolitan areas which have successfully navigated similar opportunities with spectacular outcomes in ministry and growth. 

The Trustees and Exploratory Development Team of the First United Methodist Church of Miami is the group of volutneers working to assist the church in redeveloping the property. FUMC Miami is proud to have selected the following professional firms to assist in this endeavor:

HFF, Real Estate Advisory

Berkowitz Pollack Brant, Accounting Advisory

Holland & Knight, Legal Advisory

*Find in the appendix below, a description and bio of all members of the Exploratory Development Team.

We are excited at the opportunities this will bring to grow our church, its missions and services. We have also been amazed by the overwhelming support we have received from the members of the church and your support and strength is essential to the success of our project.

We are still in an exploratory phase and the redevelopment of the church will be a work-in-progress.  As such, communication about the effort will be on going. So stay tuned and we will be sending out regular newsletters and updates.  Below are some questions with answers that have been posed frequently in these early stages.  Hopefully, this will provide valuable insight into the work performed to date.

Why now?

Since 1896 the United Methodist Church has held a presence in downtown Miami. Through the years the church has had the opportunity to reimagine itself and its property. In the 1950s a tragic fire destroyed one of the two Methodist churches downtown. The churches merged and transformed itself with a new building at 400 Biscayne Boulevard with doors open to the city. Through tumultuous years downtown, the church declined multiple offers to relocate and again renewed its commitment to serving all people living in Downtown Miami. Something we are very proud of!  Now, 120 years later, the First United Methodist Church of Miami finds itself in the position to once again reimagine itself downtown through a project of redevelopment. FUMC is a vibrant, diverse and growing community and in order to continue to grow with the ever-growing city around it, the church believes that now is the time to reimagine its space. By leveraging the church’s land asset, FUMC will secure its outreach and mission in the city for many years to come. All funds generated from the redevelopment will be dedicated to further grow our mission and outreach programs.

Will the church be moving?

The church will to continue its commitment to downtown Miami. The church plans to be redeveloped within the new structure that would be built here at our present location of 400 Biscayne Blvd. When construction begins, the church will secure temporary space in the downtown area for worship and operations.  This temporary space will be dedicated specifically for the church for the two to three years of construction.

What will happen with the homeless and other ministries that operate at the current site?

These ministries, and hopefully others, remain at the forefront of the FUMC mission.  The Church leadership is exploring options to determine how best to continue and grow all ministry.  We are considering best-in-class outreach examples from other large metropolitan cities to model our direction and growth. 

What is a mixed use facility?

A mixed use development is a type of urban development that may blend residential, commercial, cultural, institutional and industrial uses.  These functions are physically and functionally integrated allowing for appropriate pedestrian connections. 

What is the current time-line on this development?

Although the current real-estate cycle is not as healthy as in years past, FUMC is starting the process at this time and working with a group of professionals to ensure that the timing meets the mission of the church. FUMC looks towards the formation of a comprehensive plan and contract within the next 12 months. The process of redevelopment of the property could begin within the next two to five years. 

As a member of First United Methodist Church of Miami, we invite you to attend an informal coffee meeting following the 11am service on August 28, 2016, where we will have an open discussion on the redevelopment project and the development team and I can answer any questions. We will continue to have montly meetings the fourth Sunday of the month. We invite to join one of the following Sundays: Sunday, September 25, 2016. Sunday, October 30, 2016; Sunday, November 27, 2016; Sunday, December 18, 2016.

Peace of Christ,

Rev. Dr. Audrey Warren, Pastor