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Mathis Report
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, May 22, 201805:20 AM EST

Town & Country Shopping Center gaining church, losing building

Legacy Ministries Worship Center coming to Arlington shopping center.

Town & Country Shopping Center in Arlington will take on a new look after part of it is demolished at University Boulevard and the Arlington Expressway and another part is leased to a church.

The almost 21,700-square-foot standalone building on the southern end along the expressway ramp is slated for demolition.

“It’s just for visibility,” said TSG Realty property manager Pam Howard. The landlord is Town & Country Shopping Center Inc.

Long-time Arlington residents and visitors might recall the building was anchored on the eastern edge by the Waldz deli and bakery.

 Town & Country Shopping Center Inc. applied to demolish the building, leaving the slab. Burkhalter Wrecking Inc. is the contractor for the $45,650 project.

Howard said there are no immediate plans for the site.

Town & Country sits at northeast University Boulevard and the expressway. It was built between 1953 and 1979, with McDonald’s added in 1984, property records show.

The building to be demolished was put up in 1954. The address for the demolition is 903 University Blvd, Units 753-775.

In the building next to it, at 847 University Blvd. N., Legacy Ministries Worship Center plans to lease 35,452 square feet of space.

Howard said the grand opening was set for July.

Kingdom Builders Construction Group Inc. is the contractor for the project. The group said it should complete the project in three to four weeks.

The city approved permits totaling more than $620,000 for the project.

Legacy Ministries Worship Center Inc., led by President Abraham L. Washington, filed its name in July with the state Division of Corporations.

The annual report in April listed 825 University Blvd. N. as its mailing address.

The site describes it as:

“We are a group of Christians dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission and continuing the dynamic evangelistic ministry of Apostle R.J. Washington. We’re running with the vision and we’re going to bring forth the victory!”

Pastor Rodney “R.J.” Washington Sr., founder of Titus Harvest Dome Spectrum Church, died in May 2017 at age 54 following a battle with cancer. The church continues to operate at 12335 Atlantic Blvd.

Legacy Ministries has been meeting this month at the Jacksonville Marriott and the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

Abraham Washington

Abraham Washington said Monday he anticipates a soft opening the first week in June, depending on weather conditions that affect renovations. 

Plans indicate space for the sanctuary, office, children’s activities and other functions.

Washington said services have been held around town in hotels. “We are the church on the move,” he said.

Washington said he continued the work he had begun with his brother, and that includes passing a legacy to empower new spiritual leaders.

Washington, who said he is in his 50s and a few years younger than his brother, said the mission of Legacy Ministries is ending homelessness.

He said he chose to start the center in Arlington, recalling that it was a prestigious community decades ago.

“We wanted to plant our church in an area where you have an undersourced community and that is why we are there. We want to see something wonderful happen in that area,” he said.

He said the lessons learned there could be transferred into other areas of need.

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