Public hearing set for event center at Zion Evangelical building in Hartland

A rendering shows what Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 415 W. Capitol Drive, will look like if it is transformed into an event center. The school building at the back of the church would be razed and replaced with a 1,500-foot addition as part of the proposed project.


As part of the project, the church would be expanded and transformed into an event space, while the existing house on the property would be razed and replaced with a new house that could accommodate event center patrons.

While the church itself would be largely maintained, save for few updates and improved landscaping, the school at the back of the building would be demolished to make way for a second event space that would be attached to the church building.

The church addition would be about 1,500 square feet. The single-family house would be roughly 2,000 square feet and have underground parking, according to initial plans.

In order for the project to go through, the property will need to be rezoned from “institutional” to B-3 central business/mixed-use.

Developer Chris Miller of Hartland-based Miller Marriot Construction Co., LLC first approached the village with the idea back in February, receiving a positive feedback from trustees.

Since then his company has been quietly working out the details of the project and site plan. One recent addition to the plan is a decorative 10-foot fence that would screen events taking place within the venue from adjacent properties and help dampen noise.

The future of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church property has been discussed in recent years. The village had previously eyed the building as a potential community center, but that plan ultimately fizzled.

In 2018 the church announced it hoped to sell the building and would be moving services to its school campus at 1023 E. Capitol Drive.

Trustees had warm words for Miller and the event center plan back in February, saying they were eager to see the church preserved.

“It’s great to see that we have a chance to keep that church as it is,” Village President Jeff Pfannerstill said at the time. “It is huge for the history of Hartland, and something that would benefit the entire community by having people come in and see our village.”