Apartment tour: From Villa Heights church to cozy apartments

Apartment tour: From Villa Heights church to cozy apartments
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It took three years to transform the nearly 100-year-old church into 18 apartments named The Church on Parkwood.

The project hits close to home for residential builder Eid Refaey. “In 2006, I moved to Union Street just a few blocks away from this church in Villa Heights,” he tells me.

Why it matters: This is the second church adaptation project to open this year. The trend seen in other metros that hasn’t taken off in Charlotte, but maybe this is the start.

  • Supperland also opened earlier this year after two years of thoughtful renovation.

The Villa Heights church had been on the market for years when Refaey decided to buy it. “This project has a piece of my heart and soul in it,” he says.

  • For Refaey, it’s about bridging history and luxury living — a celebration of old and new.

The exact location is 1017 Parkwood Ave., in the Villa Heights neighborhood. The apartments opened just months ago and are already full.

One unit, called The Sanctuary, is reserved for short-term rentals (around a month) and will be available in the coming weeks.

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History: Refaey tells me The Church on Parkwood is the church’s third life. It first opened in 1929 as The Parkwood Avenue Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and later changed hands and became the Parkwood Institutional Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Design: The church had been vacant, but Refaey wanted to retain as much of the building’s original design as possible. They left one of the original staircases, kept a pew and spent a lot of time repairing the stained glass windows.

  • The windows that had to be removed were repurposed to create a structure around the mailboxes outside.

Layouts: There are three layouts that each have distinctive design elements.

  • Loft units are in the former sanctuary and feature two-story stained glass windows.
  • Terrace units have private outdoor terraces and ground-floor access to the neighborhood.
  • Flats are the two-bed, two-bath layouts,

Looking ahead: Refaey’s new-construction duplex project, The Duets, is nearly complete and three units will be move-in ready by September. Cluck Designed both concepts. These new units have a more contemporary feel but borrow from some of the church elements from next door (think dramatic arches, high ceilings).

  • These units are three stories each and around 2,400 square feet. They’re all 3-bed 3.5-bath, including an in-law suite on the ground floor with its own kitchenette and laundry hookups.
  • Rent is $3,800 a month.

Here’s a look around The Church on Parkwood’s fully furnished short-term rental (coming available soon).

The Church on Parkwood apartments short term exterior

church on parkwood living room

The Church on Parkwood apartments kitchen 1

the church on parkwood apartments bedroom

The Church on Parkwood apartments office nook

The Church on Parkwood apartments bathroom

The Church on Parkwood apartments stairs

The Church on Parkwood apartments tile

The Church on Parkwood apartments elevator

The Church on Parkwood apartments mailbox

And here’s a look at The Duets, opening September 2021.

The Church on Parkwood apartments duets

The Church on Parkwood apartments duets kitchen

The Church on Parkwood apartments duets patio

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