Mark Driscoll, Zondervan 2006
Our current facility cannot accomodate much growth beyond our current four Sunday services. Additionally our kids' ministry is busting at the seams, our Capstone classes are in desperate need of space, and our cramped, windowless office space woudl perfect if we were a third-world sweatshop.
So the elders voted to purchase a 43,000 square-foot dumpy warehouse Jamie [Munson] found one block away from our current building. When the project is completed, we will have two buildings only a block apart, each hosting church services with 1,300 seats in one location and a projected 1,000 seats in the other. We will be able to grow to more than 10,000 people per Sunday through multiple services in multiple locations. Each service will have live worship teams, but I will only be live in some services and on video in others. [emphasis added] Some of our people are mildly unhappy about watching me preach on video instead of live because they feel it isn't very authentic. But in our current worship space, about half of the peope.l sit so far away from teh stage that they watch me on a video screen anyway.
What was that real estate, for the sake of review?
1401 NW 50th Street
Seattle, WA 98107
Go to that real estate now and will you find a second campus that seats 1,000 or 1,3000 people? Are there services with live bands at 1411 NW 50th Street? What happened to that grand vision of a future campus Mark Driscoll cast in Confessions of a Reformission Rev back in 2006? It had a snag in the form of thee realities of licensing and zoning issues for land use for a piece of real estate in an industrial district, if memory serves.
Sound Transit says it bought the property for $23 million. We don't know how much Mars Hill offered for it.
The Church had accused Sound Transit of taking the property by eminent domain, which Sound Transit denies. The Church has since backed down on that claim. Now the church leaders are questioning International Paper's acceptance of Sound Transit's offer.
"We bid $250,000 over Sound Transit's bid," Dean said.
Let's keep in mind that in a recent profile on executive pastor Sutton Turner the Mars Hill budget was listed as $30 million. Justin Dean is quoted as saying Mars Hill bid $250,000 over Sound Transit's bid, which The Stranger's reports was $23 million by Sound Transit's account. $23,250,000. is slightly over 77% of the entirety of Mars Hill's current budget so ... where was Mars Hill going to find the money to outbid an already completed purchase by Sound Transit again? After all, Mark Driscoll told Mars Hill "We're not a wealthy church".
But you see, dear reader, even if money were not an issue in outbidding an already completed transaction conducted by Sound Transit there's still the matter of Mars Hill's track record with their 2005 capital campaign. Look how that grand vision turned out, or didn't turn out, and keep it in mind, Mars Hill members who might consider donating to any capital campaigns in the future. Ask the leaders at your campus how the capital campaign of 2005 worked out and how closely the current 50th street corporate headquarters resembles what Mark Driscoll outlined in page 176 of Confessions of a Reformission Rev. You deserve to know, Mars Hill members. ."
So with that in mind, let's get back to the Thomas Hurst statement about the apparently always in "core group phase" Mars Hill Bellevue.
After many months of searching and narrowing down our choices, only one building in Bellevue is available that meets the needs of the church that God is building on the Eastside. A few months ago we made an offer on a property in the Bel-Red corridor on 120th St. which was currently owned by the International Paper Company.
After renovations the property could feature:
- - Seating for 3,000+ per service
- - Local Bellevue Church office space
- - Central Operations office space
- - Media & Communications space
- - Much larger Kids Ministry area
- - Space for Mars Hill Students
- - Training classrooms for a future Bible college
- - Ample parking space on-site
- - Large common areas
You might want to put emphasis on "could" in "could feature". Full disclosure, Wenatchee The Hatchet refused to renew membership at Mars Hill after learning about the gap between the vision cast for the 50th street real estate in the 2005 capital campaign and in Mark Driscoll's book on the one hand, and what was actually reality about the real estate and zoning issues on the other. It's worth noting that the legal president of Mars Hill back in that period was Mark Driscoll, just as he is now. Whatever grand vision is being cast for a piece of real estate that is already owned by Sound Transit go, Mars Hill members, to the 50th street corporate headquarters some time and read for yourself what Mark Driscoll cast as the vision for that real estate. Then consider what Thomas Hurst says "could feature" in the real estate sold to Sound Transit if Mars Hill were able to own it even if Justin Dean's public statements about bids didn't involve a number that is slightly more than 77 percent of Mars Hill's current operating budget.
Let's remember that according to their FY2012 annual report their total income for that fiscal year was about $24.6 million. Don't want to believe Wenatchee The Hatchet? Okay then, go see the numbers for yourself.
While we're at it, let's consider that while Mars Hill is looking for a Capital Development Manger Mark Driscoll mentioned in 2012:
Now, you look at this, you say, “Fourteen churches.” See, this is the myth at Mars Hill: “There’s a money fairy somewhere and the money fairy takes care of it.” Okay. You’re the money fairy. Okay.
Now let's suppose for sake of argument that the entirety of Mars Hill leadership may currently be completely convinced that that real estate currently owned by Sound Transit is "the only viable option" for what they want to do. That's all the more reason to take a long look at the 2005 capital campaign and what Mark Driscoll said the vision was for the 50th street building that is current Mars Hill corporate headquarters, which was also where Future Hope Revocable Living Trust is/was based when Mark and Grace Driscoll bought a roughly one million dollar home just weeks before Driscoll would say "You're the money fairy" to Mars Hill. [Wenatchee The Hatchet found the deed of trust which, while not a certified document in pdf format, establishes that Mark and Grace Driscoll bought the real estate in 2012 in May]. The history of 1401 NW 50th Street, Seattle, WA 98107 is something every contracted member of or prospective donor to Mars Hill Church should be informed about as Thomas Hurst's public statements about the vision for a building Mars Hill doesn't even own yet is sitting out there on the internet.
Since Thomas Hurst is credited with the cover photo of Confessions of a Reformission Rev it's not like Hurst somehow can't know or remember how the 2005 capital campaign and the purchase played out.