After 25 years, more than 8 million square feet, and lots of opposition, few have shaped the city like Fuqua.
Scott Boulevard Baptist Church is running out of options. The 58-year-old church located at the corner of North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard has an aging congregation. Most remaining churchgoers are over 80. Membership has shrunk from a peak of 500 worshippers in the 1960s to about 50 people today. The church no longer has the funds to stay open for Sunday services.
In attempts to keep its doors open, the congregation tried to rent space to nonprofit organizations, merge with more than a dozen other churches, and sell the building to a nursing home operator. Every effort was a bust.
That's when Jeff Fuqua stepped in. In September 2012, his real estate development firm, Fuqua Development, offered to buy the church and 10 nearby homes. If he closes the deal, Fuqua plans to level the church and residences and construct a 7-acre mixed-use shopping center.
"It was not an easy decision," said Pastor Greg Smith at a July meeting with worshippers and nearby residents. "It was a decision we felt like we had to make. We choose to take care of our people rather than take care of our landlord."