Oregon District developer acquires church

The developer behind the celebrated conversion of an old factory in the Oregon District into popular new housing and a restaurant has acquired a nearby church.

This month, Kentucky-based Weyland Ventures closed on the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church at 239 Wayne Ave., which shut down at the end of last year.

Weyland Ventures controls 239 Wayne LLC, which took out a $768,500 loan to purchase the building.

RELATED: Iconic Oregon District church being sold to housing, retail developer

The Louisville firm transformed the old Weustoff and Getz Co. building across the street from the church at 210 Wayne into the Wheelhouse, which offers 40 loft apartments and the Troll Pub bar and restaurant.

Weyland Ventures’ vision is to strengthen connections between the heart of the Oregon District and the area to east, which the firm is working to redevelop into a vibrant urban environment where people want to live, work and recreate, said Lee Weyland, director of sales and leasing with the company.

“We do things in phases and patiently improve an area over time,” he said.

MORE: Developer plans to transform 158-year-old Oregon District church

Weyland Ventures does not currently have plans for the church, but the main sanctuary building definitely won’t be housing, Weyland said. However, there could be an element of housing elsewhere.

In the past, other members of the firm said it would be a unique place for dining and entertainment.

Churches are landmarks for a reason, offering dramatic and impressive architecture and distinctive interior spaces, Weyland said.

Weyland plans to adaptively reuse the church in a way that recognizes and preserves its heritage, but also repositions it for the next 100 years, he said.

Weyland Ventures right now is focusing on redeveloping the Dayton Motor Car building at 15 McDonough St., which is just a few blocks east.

In July, the state announced it had awarded the project $1.8 million in state historic tax credits to help fund its rehab.

The firm proposes spending more than $18 million to turn the six-story building into offices for high-tech and creative professionals, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Weyland said the goal is to start construction on the project by the end of the year, at which time they hope to make an announcement about tenants.

Weyland also said the Wheelhouse building has two retail bays available and there hopefully will be announcement on occupants by year end.

In addition to Troll Pub, Speakeasy Yoga also occupies space in the Wheelhouse.

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