As Foursquare central office teams prepare to cross the street later this month, they are doing much more than just moving part of the central office—they are marking the latest significant step on Foursquare’s journey into the future.
Transitioning from their longtime headquarters in Foursquare’s Rolf K. McPherson Building (RKM Building) to their new home at the Aimee Semple McPherson Building (ASM Building) on the Angelus Temple campus, on the other side of Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles, further realizes the last major goal of Foursquare’s Reimagine process. Launched in 2009, Reimagine Foursquare set out to prayerfully review all of Foursquare’s policies and practices, with the aim of reorganizing and renewing the movement for maximized Great Commission fruitfulness.
Settling into newly constructed ASM Building on the ground floor of Angelus Temple’s multi-story parking structure frees up space for lease at the RKM Building that will generate income of at least $600,000 a year. The savings will be redirected to local Foursquare church initiatives as part of one of the five main Reimagine Stakes, aligning 80 percent of congregations’ tithe to the local and district fields.
The other stakes have focused on the same broad principle of better alignment: aligning everything in Foursquare to the Great Commission; aligning the National Church Office and district offices to a catalytic culture; aligning Foursquare Foundation (now Foursquare Endowment) to resourcing and supporting Foursquare’s mission; and aligning Foursquare polity to provide property options for local churches.
Around 25 executive team members and staff are relocating to the new space at Angelus Temple, including the Foursquare president, vice presidents, Foursquare Missions International team, National Church Office team, corporate secretary’s team and the Foursquare communications department. Another 50 employees remain at the RKM Building, comprising human resources, accounting, legal, properties, retirement, loans and insurance services, administrative operations staff, information technologies, chaplain staff and the mailroom.
Planning for the move began two years ago, with leaders considering other money-saving options before deciding on relocation as the best option. Tenant improvements at the nearly 17,000-square-foot offices—on the parking structure level previously allocated as potential banquet space—began last spring. The space includes a kitchen and a multipurpose room that can seat up to 300 people; this shared space will also be used by Angelus Temple, Angelus Temple Hispanic and select community events.
Much of the cost of the project has been met from the sale of two unused Foursquare properties—the site of its former radio station tower and a residential building. Additional projected savings come by way of solar panels installed by Angelus Temple and Angelus Temple Hispanic that are expected to save the campus $5 million over 30 years.
Settling into newly constructed offices on the ground floor of Angelus Temple’s multi-story parking structure frees up space for lease at the RKM Building that will generate income of at least $600,000 a year.
While the move will free up more money to go to local churches, it has already been flowing there as a result of other cost-cutting measures made as part of the Reimagine financial realignment stake. Around $6 million annually has been redirected in recent years, with that amount set to double this year.
“This has been a stewardship initiative, taking assets that were not generating any kind of revenue and repurposing them so that more money can be released to the field,” explains Foursquare Vice President, COO and Corporate Secretary Adam Davidson. “So, to physically move back to the very first Foursquare church is an appropriate physical expression of our commitment to being missional in all we do.”
Through the years, the RKM Building has become a familiar landmark in the Echo Park area, just a mile from Dodger Stadium and three miles from downtown Los Angeles. Foursquare sold the land to California Federal Bank (CalFed) where the 10-story building was then built, complete with a helipad. Foursquare had the first rights to purchase the building, and later did in 1977 for just $2.8 million—well below the cost of the build. It is known by many people in the area today as the Citibank building, in recognition of its current banking tenant, or the Park-Sunset building, for its location on the corner of Park Ave. and Sunset Blvd.
Officially, the 10-story property was renamed the Rolf K. McPherson Building in 2007. Although more than 100 staff worked there at its peak Foursquare occupancy, much of the building has long been leased to other businesses.
For outgoing President Glenn Burris Jr., the office transition is satisfying both as a representation of much of the focus of his years of leadership, having spearheaded the Reimagine effort, and symbolic of the passing of the baton to incoming President Randy Remington, who assumes the role in Sept. 2020.
“I’m delighted that we are able to help better resource Foursquare churches for kingdom fruitfulness through this move, which brings Foursquare’s leadership back to the land where our vision was formed and fashioned,” Glenn says. “While this may be one of the last major practical outworkings of our Reimagine deliberations and decisions, in some ways that process will never end because we always want to be open to growth and change as we are led by the Spirit, committed to fruitfulness in our part in the Great Commission.”
All mailing addresses for the Foursquare central office will remain the same.