March 26 Building Update 046
“Taking a Second Look”
As most of you know, Ashley Ridge Church has an option on an additional 10 acre tract of land located behind and contiguous to the original 10 acre tract on Summers Drive purchased back in 2017. The option expires July 1, 2021, and before the option period expires, church leadership (leadership team, building team, finance team) is “taking a second look” to determine if it would be prudent for Ashley Ridge Church to exercise the option to purchase.
Like any major financial decision we make, personally or collectively as a church, there are several considerations. I have outlined the considerations in this decision below:
- The pandemic has created a boom in real estate values in the greater Charleston market due to an increased influx of people moving to the area. The additional 10 acre tract could be a very valuable financial asset worth far more than the option purchase price of 60K an acre set back in 2017.
- The sewer access point that AR needs to connect to is located through the additional 10 acre tract behind the property, so if AR does not exercise the option or if we do not receive a utility easement from Lennar, the church could have no affordable way to receive DCWS sewer service.
- To make the Phase 1 and Masterplan fit on the original 10 acre site, compromises had to be made with parking. The original Masterplan had a total of 530 parking spaces but had to be reduced to 339 due to Dorchester County zoning and building requirements not allowing parking forward of the main building. According to Alisha Coleman, our Project Manager with Equip Studio, this “will meet code but will likely feel tight, especially in a multi-service scenario.”
- Even though AR may not need the additional 10 acres to develop the Phase 1 and Masterplan as currently designed, things could change, and the additional 10 acres could be a valuable asset for the church in terms of future growth.
- At 60K an acre the additional 10 acres would cost 600K and would be a significant financial expense for the church which would have to be at least partly financed by a bank or other financial institution. It should be noted AR does have 50K in escrow which was used to secure the option back in 2017. This could be put toward the purchase of the property, or in the case of not exercising the option, refunded to the church.
- The purchase of the additional 10 acres could delay the building process as some existing church funds and future funds would be required for the down payment, due diligence and subsequent debt service.
- The real estate market can be volatile at times of economic uncertainty which could make the property value of the additional 10 acre tract fluctuate.
Pastor Jenn will be scheduling a Family Meeting soon to discuss all the latest information and details concerning the land option and building project, so please stay tuned!
If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund and/or Building Fund, you can do so here.
Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader