Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC) finalized a lease with APAH for new ground floor space at Gilliam Place Apartments. The transaction marked APC’s commitment to return to the place where their congregation began.
The church celebrated this milestone at their monthly worship service in the Gilliam Place garden, where all who attended were invited to take part in a ritual signing of the lease. “Our work is to be public,” said Pastor Ashley Goff.” We invited all who believe in the vision for this new space to sign the lease so that they could experience the sense of commitment, ownership, and participation.”
APC’s space at Gilliam Place will be multi-use, serving as their worship, office, and programming space, with movable furnishings to support a variety of functions. “The programs we offer will be inspired by the needs of the Columbia Pike community,” says Goff. “The space will serve as an outpost to be in the life of the Columbia Pike neighborhood.”
The garden, where APC holds a monthly worship service, is another element of its connection to Gilliam Place and the Columbia Pike community. The garden provides green space where very little exists, Goff explains, and it provides “a space for restoration and to be still… a place to make connections.” Goff herself experienced a recent connection in the garden that strengthened her belief in the significance of the APC/APAH partnership. She was approached there by an individual who, unaware that the structure going up behind them was an affordable community, shared the story of needing to find a more affordable place for his family to live. Pastor Goff joyfully provided him information about Gilliam Place.
The continued development of this green space will occur in phases. Native plants have recently been added, and future phases will be inspired by the residents who call Gilliam Place home. And as always, all will be welcomed in the garden.
Gilliam Place was made possible by the church congregation. In 2012, APC approached APAH to create a space that would both provide affordable housing and serve as a place of crossroads and connection for the community. The congregation selected the name Gilliam Place for the new affordable housing development to honor Ronda Gilliam (1906-1970), a church elder who was a steward and visionary in the community.
Gilliam Place will be opening later this year, but the waitlist is open now! If you, or someone you know is interested in an affordable apartment, submit an application today.