San Diego Megachurch May Pay $1M to Share Arts Center; City Officials Hope Deal Will Revitalize El Cajon Economy

(Photo: City of El Cajon)East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon, California.

A megachurch based in San Diego is eyeing the usage of a shuttered performing arts center, which may involve paying El Cajon approximately $1 million over five years which the city hopes will help reopen the facility and revitalize the community.

The Rock Church of San Diego and city officials are in negotiations over usage of the closed East County Performing Arts Center.

El Cajon City Council recently gave the nod for negotiations over the usage of Arts Center, in the hopes that it will aid in supporting the city's downtown economy.

Brett Channing, assistant to the City Manager for El Cajon, told The Christian Post that the Arts Center had been shuttered since the end of 2009.

"The City Council has authorized staff to conduct final negotiations with the Rock Church and present a draft final agreement for the Council's consideration within 60-90 days," said Channing.

Channing also detailed the parameters of the likely deal between Rock Church and El Cajon regarding usage of the Arts Center.

"For renting the facility each Sunday and Tuesday, plus one Friday and Saturday per month, they will pay the City $216,000 per year," said Channing.

"For a land lease on an adjacent site to construct a classroom - multipurpose building, they will pay the City $48,000 per year, plus free use of various parts of the building for City use and revenue generation."

Channing noted that Rock Church will "be a tenant" of the presently shuttered facility and that El Cajon "will maintain full ownership and authority over the property and the building."

"The financial deal … will greatly assist the City in fiscally stabilizing ECPAC so that we may renovate and re-open the facility for the general public for the aforementioned entertainment, performing arts and conference purposes," said Channing.

"The sole reason why the facility closed in the first place was a growing need for the City to financially subsidize the facility's operations. In addition, we expect the Rock Church to attract approximately 6000-7000 people or more per week to our downtown, thus supporting our business community in the area."

Established in February of 2000 by Pastor Miles McPherson, the Rock Church currently boasts of having over 16,000 people attend their Sunday worship services in-person or online.