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Members of the Grace Community Church congregation are poised to break ground this summer on a 17-acre prime parcel at 130 Littleton Road.
The Chelmsford congregation will move to a 22,000-square-foot church in Westford, hopefully by early 2020, said Matt Beattie, executive pastor. The farmstead style will fit well with the tranquil setting, he added.
The project will begin mid-year “barring any slowdowns with regulations,” Beattie said.
According to Interim Town Planner Rebecca Cheney, church administrators filed for a site plan review in late January with the hearing expected to open on March 4.
The 600-member congregation purchased the land in December 2015 from Black Walnut Park, LLC, for $1.97 million. The company is owned by Titus Palmer of Westford Real Estate and his partners.
“Grace Church had been looking for seven or eight years,” he said. “We talked to them once or twice. Eventually, this just seemed to be the best fit.”
The congregation’s $2.5 million fundraising campaign is almost fully pledged, Beattie said.
The project represents the growth spurt Littleton Road is undergoing. The road is otherwise known as Route 110, the business corridor of the town. At least 420 residential apartments are under construction along the road.
The Grace Church community has been renting on Billerica Road in Chelmsford at a cost of approximately $20,000 per month for the past 23 years.
Beattie said in the long run it’s cheaper to buy than rent.
“When you look over the course of 25 years you’ll spend more and have nothing to show for it,” said Beattie.
The parcel abuts the commercial plaza at 142 Littleton Road.
“…we have found it to be a sanctuary,” said Beattie of the location. There is a quiet stillness on the land, he added.
Beattie has a simple goal for his future church.
“Our desire is to be a blessing to the community,” he said.
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