YORK-The former JC Penney store in The Marquis shopping center near Water Country USA will be getting a new life as a church.
In February, York County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a request to rezone the property in order to convert the store into a new meeting site for Foundations Williamsburg Church. The church submitted an application to move into the JC Penney store, which shut its doors in 2015.
The church has been meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Kingsmill Road but is quickly growing and needs a building of its own, said Foundations Williamsburg Church Senior Pastor Michael Hines.
“Churches have a lot of space needs that differ from other organizations,” Hines said. “Clearly The Marquis area has a lot going for it: A large empty building that can easily accommodate all our needs and provide other potential services for the community in addition to the church along with adequate parking and proximity to lots of new residential housing. We really feel that this location is a win-win both for the church and the community.”
The 105,000 square foot store will hold the church, an auditorium, a childcare center, and a community service workforce training center. Additional retail space will be available for lease, hopefully by a restaurant, which is desperately needed in the area.
“We are excited,” Hines said.
The former JC Penney store will be remodeled both inside and outside before the church moves in. Services most likely won’t begin in the new building until 2022.