Giant Eagle cancels Cumberland development

St. John United Church of Christ - a historic church in the middle of a heated debate (WISH Photo)

CUMBERLAND, Ind. (WISH) — The fight over an Indianapolis church will go on as a convenience store chain decided it no longer wants the property in Cumberland.

The Saint John United Church of Christ has been part of Cumberland for years.

But it needs repairs and the church can’t afford them.

That’s why the congregation was ready to sell the property to the Giant Eagle chain.

The company could have knocked the building down in order to put up a new store.

People who live in the area didn’t want that kind of development and don’t want to lose the building.

The pastor of the church says that the congregation can’t afford the maintenance anymore and that losing the Giant Eagle deal causes another financial challenge because the congregation has already invested in new property.

The church’s building committee will meet on Monday to evaluate its options and selling the building is still an option.

Giant Eagle released this statement:

We remain committed to bringing the fresh made to order foods and convenience-oriented services associated with GetGo to Indianapolis and the greater surrounding area. However, after a thorough review of the Cumberland opportunity, for a variety of reasons we did not feel that this proposed location best met the needs of our business.

We have worked closely with St. John United Church of Christ officials throughout this rezoning approval process, and are hopeful that the commercial zoning of the property provides the Church with the flexibility needed to make the best decision for the congregation’s future.”

Cumberland Town Manager Andrew Klinger released this statement.

As we’ve said from the beginning, the Town of Cumberland envisions a greater potential use for the site. We’d like to see a mixed-use development that fits into the Town’s comprehensive plan, supports the transit corridor and preserves the historic structure.

Moving forward, we want to work with St. John’s Church leaders to sell the property and ensure an appropriate adaptive reuse that’s mutually beneficial for the congregation and the Cumberland community.”

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