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Affordable housing developer wants to preserve this historic church for apartments

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a refurbished church, you might soon get the chance.

Saigebrook Development, an Austin-based affordable housing developer, is in the process of buying Riverside Baptist Church at 3101 Race St. and turning it into apartments. Saigebrook plans to renovate and preserve the sanctuary. The building will have 91 units. It will be called Cielo Place.

The original building at Riverside Baptist Church is close to 100 years old, which makes Saigebrook’s plans to preserve the historic structure appealing to many in the neighborhood. The plan does include demolition of the gym, but it was constructed in the 1970s and is not considered historic.

Megan Lasch, a consultant with Saigebrook, said this project was in the company’s wheelhouse.

“It was something we felt we could do as a neat preservation opportunity in this neighborhood,” she said.

The project came before for the Fort Worth Zoning Commission this month, and the commission unanimously voted to recommend the council approve Saigebrook’s application. However, the council might not hear the application until August, because the company is working on contractual requirements.

If all goes well in the early stages of the process, construction could start in the first quarter of 2020, and the project could finish construction by 2021.

Carla Jimenez covers breaking business news and commercial retail development. Born and raised in Euless, she took a detour in the Midwest for a few years, but she’s back in the land of football, barbecue and Dr Pepper.