Abiding Village, a Christian nonprofit arts group, launched a fundraising campaign this week with the goal of generating enough money to buy the former Freestyle Music Park.

The organization hopes to purchase the park, minus the rides, for $10 million and convert it into an education and entertainment complex.

Abiding Village officials said the park’s owners have given them three weeks to come up with the resources to purchase the land and buildings.

A fundraising drive kicked off Tuesday when the group posted a 12-minute video about its plans on YouTube.

“We’ve always had a good relationship with the park,” said Abiding Village director Jess Sagun. “We were in discussion about using a small part of the property, then this opportunity availed itself.”

A representative for the park could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

Since Freestyle shuttered its doors in 2009, the park has remained empty. Freestyle was actually the complex’s second act.

It was originally Hard Rock Park, but that project also failed. A company called FPI US LLC acquired the park at a foreclosure auction on Aug. 1, 2011.

A $20 million mortgage was recorded nearly five months later. The mortgage fueled speculation that Freestyle might reopen, but that hasn’t panned out.

Abiding Village is an offshoot ministry of Christ United Methodist Church in Fantasy Harbour. However, despite its affiliation with the church, the group maintains its own nonprofit status.

Jeff Dunn, the senior pastor at Christ United Methodist, said he’s amazed by the timing of the Freestyle offer.

The pastor did stress that the organization won’t go into debt to buy the site. In fact, he said, if the group doesn’t raise enough money to purchase the park and refurbish it by 2018, leaders will take any donations and put them toward Abiding Village’s other ministries.

Dunn also said there are some wealthy individuals who are seriously considering supporting the project, but they want to gauge community interest first.

He said the nonprofit has spent the last several weeks working on a marketing plan for the fundraising drive.

“For us, those buildings have value,” Dunn said. “We’re trying to do something that is for the benefit of youth and children. And the current owners are willing to work with that.

"They’re not willing to give the property, but they’re willing to work with an extremely reasonable price structure," Dunn continued.


(1) comment


I sure hope it works. What I know of the Abiding Village vision is wonderful and selfless. My prayers are that the community embraces it, and some people with deep pockets step up and make it possible.

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