Most people think that, as soon as you want to get a new facility, the thing to do is to go out and acquire land, hire the architect, bring on a builder and build a brand new facility. The reality is that should be your last option. And the reason I say that is because that is the most expensive option, buying land that’s not improved, bringing in utilities. You’ve got parking lots. You’ve got stormwater management and landscaping. You-you’re basically starting from scratch. What you might want to do is consider looking for what we call a big box.
A lot of times large commercial operations will go out of business, whether it’s Circuit City or an old Walmart or an old Sears building. That’s a much better way to go if you can find one. The reason is it’s already in established use. The-the-the landscaping’s done. The parking lot’s done. The building’s already there. And you can buy a facility like this often for 20, 30 cents on the dollar as to what it would cost you to build a new one. Then you go and you do what’s called tenant improvements. You take the-the old store. You reconfigure the interior. You build it out for what you want to have. And what you end up with is a state-of-the-art facility in a prime location that costs about half as much as new construction from scratch.
So before you go out and hire the architect, buy the land, do that, look and see if you can’t find an empty big box. It could be a real win for your congregation. It can accommodate your needs for years to come, lower your risk, lower your cost, and get you up and running in half the time.
Each one has valuable information on every aspect of Church development.