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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Salvation Army purchases land in Spotsylvania

The Salvation Army has outgrown its community center on Lafayette Boulevard in Fredericksburg. The organization has purchased land for a new facility in Spotsylvania County.

The Salvation Army last month purchased land in a Spotsylvania County business park that could serve as the organization’s local headquarters within a few years.

The organization bought 4.7 acres at the corner of Lansdowne Road and New Albany Drive from Lansdowne Investors Inc. The sales price was $807,000. The property is in the Lansdowne Business Park, which is home to several businesses and a church.

The Salvation Army offers an array of youth and worship programs at its 4,600-square-foot facility at 821 Lafayette Blvd. in Fredericksburg. Its administrative office and thrift store are on Lafayette Boulevard near Paul’s Bakery in Spotsylvania.

The Fredericksburg building is no longer large enough to host all the community services The Salvation Army wants to provide, said Capt. Matt Satterlee, who oversees the organization’s efforts in the region. The organization also wants its administrative office to be in the same place as its community center. The thrift store will likely stay where it is now.

The Salvation Army has been looking at potential sites for its regional headquarters and community center for several years, Satterlee said. Ultimately the organization decided to build its own facility rather than try to renovate an existing site. Current plans call for a building of at least 18,000 square feet that could cost about $3.4 million.

The organization raised the money for the land, and Satterlee said it will need to raise most of the funds for the new building. Some of the money could come from selling the city building, which is assessed at $652,900.

Satterlee said it will probably be another couple of years before The Salvation Army can break ground on the new facility, though he’d like it to happen sooner.

Satterlee said the new facility will not be big enough to handle its seasonal Angel Tree distribution center, where donated Christmas presents are sorted and handed out to needy area families. This year the operation will be run out of the vacant former Giant store at the intersection of Bragg Road and State Route 3 in Spotsylvania. Giant donated the space, Satterlee said.