Four Points and the Warrenton Group are under contract to buy the Scripture Cathedral, at 810 O St. NW, for $10.5 million.
The Washington Business Journal (WBJ) states that the church site “would likely be part of a mixed-use development, assuming the developers can acquire a handful of adjacent properties, including a D.C.-owned vacant lot at Eighth and O streets.”
Across the street from Scripture Cathedral is Development’s City Market at O, a 1 million-square-foot project with retail, apartments and a hotel, all currently under construction.
Scripture Cathedral is one of the most well known black churches in the city and its website describes it as “the church in the heart of the city, with the people of the city in our hearts.”
The Shaw neighborhood where Scripture Cathedral stands is booming with businesses including the Giant Food-anchored City Market and the Scripture Cathedral has stood there for more than 25 years. It has been a beacon for many events and charity events. However, it may be following some of its members into the suburbs now that the area is developing rapidly.
The church, led by Bishop C.L. Long, has long provided a place of comfort and shelter for many African Americans when no-where else could be found. After O.J. Simpson was exonerated from murder charges more than 1,000 people greeted him there.
Long, in a recent interview said that the church is so popular that it needed to expand and it will do so in Maryland, “The plan that is in place now is to have a church here and one in Maryland,” he said. “And that will happen.”
Founder of the Warrenton Group, Warren Williams Jr., said he had been working toward an agreement with Long for years. “It’s too early to determine whether the market will be for apartments or whether there’s a condo market or whether we could even do a boutique hotel,” Williams said.