LOGAN SQUARE — A 115-year-old church on Logan Boulevard is already eliciting "really strong interest" from potential buyers, including developers, and it hasn't even hit the market yet.
Stephen Simsic, senior director at commercial real estate firm CBRE, is planning to put The Episcopal Church of the Advent, 2900 W. Logan Blvd., on the market within a week at an asking price of $1.75 million.
"We've had calls already ... unsolicited. We've gotten really strong interest," Simsic said. "The highest and best use is going to be either residential or religious reuse. It's a close call which way it'll end up."
The church closed in May due to money issues and a shrinking congregation.
Tim Van Alstyne, the warden of the church, previously told DNAinfo Chicago that the congregation had dwindled to 20 people. At its peak, the church had hundreds of members, he said.
The shrinking numbers, combined with the departure of Nuestra Señora de las Américas, which had been sharing the church space at 2900 W. Logan Blvd. and covering half of the bills, forced the church to close its doors.
The church was founded at Temple Hall, 430 W. Fullerton Ave., in 1901 and moved into the Logan Boulevard location in 1906.
The church bought the lot at 2900 W. Logan Blvd. for $10,500 and the choirmaster at the time, architect Elmer C. Jensen, designed the building.
Jensen was a member of the architectural firm Jensen and Halsted, which was founded by William Le Baron Jenney, who is known for designing and engineering the first skyscraper in 1884.
"This is a noted architect who designed this building and it wasn't just another commission for Elmer Jensen," Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation, previously told DNAinfo Chicago. "This was his faith home, so he built the church to last. This is a very fine structure and it's held down a corner of our landmark district on Logan Boulevard."
Beyond the historical value, Simsic said part of what makes the church enticing to potential buyers is its location.
"You get visibility, but it has a quiet feel. It can go either way," he said. "We sell a paramount of church buildings and this is on the high side of interest that we get."
Breathing new life into old churches is becoming increasingly popular in Logan Square.
Over the summer, the former Evangelical church at Kimball and Wrightwood avenues was converted into an elite circus school and an 1880s-era church at 2445 W. Washtenaw Ave., was converted into a home.
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