Iroquois church housing development abandoned

In this picture from the Realtor website, the front of St. John's Anglican Church in Iroquois, Ont. The church and nearly an acre of land are for sale again after a proposed housing development fell through. The property is listed for $375,000. ( via Newswatch Group)

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IROQUOIS – An Ottawa company has abandoned plans to build luxury housing within the former St. John’s Anglican Church and the surrounding property.

The Anglican Parish of South Dundas announced in August 2017 it had an offer to purchase the church from Green Power Farms Ltd.

“We couldn’t get the right title for the property so we decided to let it go and put it back on the market,” said Nicolas Bomamy, general manager of Green Power Farms Ltd., in an interview with Newswatch.

He explained that one title was in the name of the Anglican diocese; the other in the name of the church. “We had issues with one of the titles so we changed our minds and said, it’s not worth it for us,” Bomamy said. The land is also zoned institutional, which would have required a zoning change.

The church at 40 Lakeview Drive is now on the market, listed for $375,000. The listing also shows the potential to subdivide lots for three single family homes on the north side of the property.

“We had both options. We could have rezoned the three lots in the back and sold them individually or we could have kept everything in and modified the church for luxury residences. Both options were open to us.”

Bomamy said the cost of converting the old church into residential housing was also a factor.

“It was a factor. Definitely. It’s a question of market too. If we had the market to put the $500,000 that it will cost to renovate the church, we would have gone ahead with it but we decided, no, it’s not worth it,” he said.

“It’s a nice project for somebody who has the means to do it.”

Bomamy said his company is still “possibly” looking to do a similar housing venture somewhere in South Dundas.

In this diagram from the Realtor website, a yellow line outlines the boundary of the property included with St. John’s Anglican Church in Iroquois, Ont. A proposed housing development on the site has fallen through and the property is back on the market for $375,000. ( via Newswatch Group)

Don Lewis, the municipality’s director of planning, told Newswatch he last heard there were also issues with an easement on the east side of the Lakeview Drive property. “I thought that they were trying to proceed and trying to purchase, acquire (the easement) and we heard nothing.”

“The last we heard he was going to use it as a large single family dwelling…and a portion of the west side turned into a two or three car garage,” Lewis said.

The real estate listing boasts about the circa-1957 stone building’s “style reminiscent of rural English churches” and its notable architecture.