Eastern Mennonite Missions will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at its planned headquarters at 450 N. Prince St. The event is part of a drop-in at the site from 3-5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and officials will discuss the vision of the organization.
EMM bought the property for $1 million in 2015. Renovations to the building will begin next week and the organization plans to move into the new space in the fall. The two-story building totals about 23,000 square feet. EMM plans to sell its five-building complex in Salunga when it moves into the city.
The top floor will house EMM’s administrative offices. The ground floor will include a mini-conference center, with event space available for use by outside groups as well as EMM. There will be an art gallery and a cafe of international foods staffed by volunteers and refugees.
Joe Hollinger, EMM’s advancement director, said the move provides a new perspective for the organization’s ministry.
“For many years EMM, was involved locally in different types of ministry, but the vast majority of its work has been overseas over the last 100 years,” he explained. “As you move into other contexts and into other cultures, you think about how you bring the love of Christ into that context. Now we have an opportunity to do that in a new, fresh way right here in Lancaster city.”
EMM estimates the building renovation will cost $3 million. The building previously served as a car dealership.