A church scheduled for demolition to make way for VinFast’s new $4 billion EV plant in Moncure, Chatham County, may be saved after all.
The Vietnamese vehicle maker announced Tuesday in a goodwill gesture that it intends to donate up to three acres of property on the VinFast project site to the Merry Oaks Baptist Church to help them save the church from demolition. The company, which is using eminent domain to complete the project, said they would also assist church members in identifying other resources to support the relocation.
The church has stood on the border between Moncure and New Hill, on the corner of Old U.S. 1 and New Elam Church Road, since 1888.
For Phase 1 of the project, the church, along with three businesses and eleven homes, were scheduled to be relocated for a new highway that is needed for access in and out of the site. Phase 2 is estimated to impact an additional two businesses and 16 homes.
VinFast has presented a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the church’s members, which outlines the company’s plan to donate private land on Christian Chapel Church Road, about three miles from the church’s current site, to relocate the church.
“VinFast cares deeply about our new home and does not want to see the Merry Oaks congregation displaced, said Ms. Van Anh Nguyen, VinFast US Manufacturing CEO. “In addition to donating the land, VinFast is willing to work with our partners to identify other resources to help support the relocation of the church. Our hope is that Merry Oaks Baptist Church and its congregation can remain in the community.”
Merry Oaks Member Jerry Holden said in the press release: “We greatly appreciate that VinFast has made a generous offer to provide a new home for the Merry Oaks Baptist Church so the congregation can remain in the community we’ve called home for over 130 years.”
According to the press release, church members are still deciding whether they would like to relocate the church.
Last week, the Vietnamese electric vehicle maker announced in a press release that it will hold a groundbreaking ceremony this Friday, July 28, at Triangle Innovation Point. Covering an area of approximately 1,800 acres.
Plans include a 2.85 million square foot complex comprising eight buildings, including a press shop, the tallest building, at 75.2 feet, and a general assembly building, the largest at 995,900 square feet. Other buildings include a body shop, central energy plant, paint shop, guard house, pump house, and waste building.
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