Elevation Church received zoning approval Monday night to open a multimillion-dollar worship and performing arts center in the old Palace Theater off West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.
The Cornelius Board of Commissioners approved the request by a 2-1 vote to allow civic activities as a principal use in the former Palace at 8325 Copely Drive. Commissioners Dave Gilroy and Chuck Travis voted in favor, while commissioner Jeff Hare voted against.
Hare said he wanted assurances the church would pay its “fair share of ... taxes for nonchurch uses” of the building. Catawba Avenue is traffic-clogged, and “we could use any sort of tax help” to relieve congestion, he said.
The megachurch intends to invest $5 million in improvements to the interior and exterior of the building for a 1,200-seat performing arts theater.
The new church, to be called Elevation Lake Norman, plans to complete construction in the first quarter of 2014. The site will have 277 parking spaces.
Elevation Church has seven locations across the Charlotte region. By the end of 2014, it plans to have opened three more Charlotte-area locations – in Ballantyne, University City and the old Palace Theater in the Kenton Place retail center.
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