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Salem City Council unanimously rezones former Free Methodist Church property

Salem City Council unanimously rezones former Free Methodist Church property

The Free Methodist Church building at 515 East McMackin now cleared for conversion to apartments.  

The Salem City Council Wednesday night unanimously approved the rezoning of the former Free Methodist Church property at 515 East McMackin Street to clear the way for the building to be converted into five or six apartments.

The decision came over the plea of a spokesperson for the neighborhood who wanted the building to remain a church. Alisha Ambuehl says they have several concerns.

“Mainly the traffic, the property how it’s going to turn into our property value, and the parking are our three main issues.”

But developer Whitney Purcell says the five to six apartments will produce less traffic than the church and the development will be a plus for Salem.

“I plan on investing a lot of money in this project.  Money that will flow through our very own community.  And provide upscale housing for both people in town and coming to town from out of state, giving them something nice without having to buy.  Not everyone who comes to town or wants to live here wants a mortgage right now.”

After hearing from both sides the council unanimously voted to change the zoning from single-family residential to multi-family residential to allow for the development.