No Published CaptionSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
No Published Caption

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LOWELL -- It's a classic win-win situation for Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church and Club Lafayette.

After about six months of negotiation, the neighboring church purchased Club Lafayette, at 465 Fletcher St., in late June for $400,000. While the church will use the building for religious services and as a community soup kitchen, the club will stay on as a tenant for free.

"It helps the club maintain its identity there, and we continue to expand our footprint in the Acre neighborhood," said Christian Zouzas, president of Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church.

"It's really a further commitment from the parishioners to keep a buffer for the church property, to protect us from possible future development, and it's an extension of the church, which is pretty exciting," he added.

According to the Purchase and Sales Agreement, Club Lafayette will occupy the building and continue to operate as a private social club. The parish will have use of the function hall on the lower level when it's not scheduled for club use. Transfiguration will also get additional parking for its members.

"It's a good deal for both parties," said Emile Houle, president of Club Lafayette. "They got what they needed, and we got what we needed. It ensures we're not going anywhere.

"We've always had a good relationship with them around the corner," Houle added.

The building went up in the late 1800s as a fire station. Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church is located behind it on Father John Sarantos Way.

For more on this story, read Tuesday's edition of The Sun and visit www.lowellsun.com.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter and Tout @rsobeyLSun.