CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Willow Creek Church to Open New Campus at 193,000 Square Foot Former Underused Industrial Site

Willow Creek
(Photo : Steve Yoon/Flickr/CC) Chris Tomlin Burning Light Concert at WillowCreek

The Willow Creek Community Church is expected to soon open its Illinois campus at an industrial property spread over 193,000 square foot, which sits over a land of 25 acres.

The facility will be renovated and turned into a 2,000-seat auditorium, with classrooms and gathering spaces. The vast open space will have splash pad and nature trails, the church said in a press release.

"We are thrilled to have a new home that will allow us to best serve our surrounding community for the next 100 years and beyond," church's lead pastor Marcus Bieschke had said a year ago when Willow Creek was planning to buy it.

The Illinois church has been conducting services at its Crystal Lake campus in a 56,000 square foot building since 2003. Recently, it outgrew the space with over 1,200 Sunday service attendees from 300 attendees when it first started.

The campus has thousands of people participating in groups, classes, workshops and camps at present.

"City Council meeting went very well. Got some great feedback from them and they all seem very accepting of what our plans are for the site," Bieschke told The Christian Post.

"The next step in the process is to appear before Crystal Lake's City Council and, based on the strong recommendation of the Zoning & Planning Commission, seek the Council's provision of our necessary approvals so that we can enjoy our fullest impact in and through our new, permanent location," he continued.

A city planner at Crystal Lake, Elizabeth Maxwell, told CP that the commission approved the development of church at the location because their plan met the standards set by State Statutes.

"For the Willow Creek request they needed to meet the general Special Use Permit standards and the Religious Organization standards," said Maxwell.

She also said that "Willow Creek will be improving an underused manufacturing building that has been on the market for nearly 30 years."

Following the commission's approval, a renovation process will be carried out, and the building could be expected to open in the fall of 2017.

The land was purchased at a price of $7.5 million, the church's website said. The church currently has locations in West Chicago, South Barrington, Chicago, Huntley, Lincolnshire, and Northfield, with a total membership of over 20,000.

The church was founded by Bill Hybels in Willow Creek, where it started its worship services in a movie theatre.

Tags Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission, Willow Creek Community Church Illinois

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