We are voting to authorize the Board to submit a bid of $400,000 for the purchase of real estate that will be auctioned on May 15, 2020. That is the only action being taken with this vote. Details on the property can be found below, as well as information on what might happen should we win or lose the bid at auction. This vote simply gives the Board the authority to submit a bid on behalf of the congregation. There is no guarantee that our bid will be selected.
The property we're interested in is located at 7011 E. Central in Wichita. It is the currrent home of a synagogue, and they've listed it for sale by sealed-bid auction on May 15, 2020. In addition to the pictures above, here are a few features:
- Sanctuary with theater-style seating for 125
- A fellowship hall and commercial-grade kitchen
- Large, handicapped-accessible restrooms
- A large secondary gathering room suitable for church or tenant use
- A library and meeting room
- A craft room or additional meeting space
- Office space
- 7 classrooms
- Outdoor playground space
- A tree-lined lot, set back from the road
- Good visibility and ample parking
- A newer facility where everything is under one roof
To learn even more about the property, see the updated real estate packet.
On Thursday, April 23, 2020, our realto took a 360-degree walk-thru tour of the property. As soon as the presentation is prepared, it will be available here for viewing. Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, in-person tours are not going to be an available option for us.
In this section we will post quetsions we've received from the congregation as they come in, and offer any information we have to effectively answer those questions.
What are the average utility costs?
You can see a breakdown of the last year's utilities for the property here.
By comparison, our average utilities over the same period were $3,200 per month.
What's this about a Lease in the bid packet?
The present owner leases 10 parking spaces to another businesss, for use during the week.
The lease generates revenue of approximately $350 per month and would come with the property.
What about Oasis and Southwind Sangha?
There is plenty of space to accomodate our current Parish House tenants.
We will invite them to come along with us on this journey.
What about plumbing, electrical, and the various associated systems?
We are invited, at our expense, to have any professional inspections done that we like.
The seller is required to disclose any known defects - none have been disclosed.
Following the vote, the Board will hire an inspector prior to submitting a final bid to make sure we know what's coming.
The bid packet talks about fixtures and equipment. What does that mean?
The seller intends to take the major appliances in the kitchen and other fixtures with them, in addition their furnishings of the property and various religious items. This could be negotiated, should we desire, if they are interested in our bid.
For example, we could bid for the property itself and write alternatives that would include various combinations of kitchen equipemnt or sanctuary seating that we'd like to keep with the property. There's no guarantee they would accept those terms, but there is an element of traditional negotiation before a final purchase agreement is signed - so long as they are interested in our initial bid to the point that they are open to negotiate a purchase agreement.
What about the money? How are we going to pay for this?
We have received an applicaiton from Cornerstone, a UCC-affiliated lender, to ask for a "bridge loan," and are in the process of completing the paperwork. This would allow us to purchase the property without drawing down our endowments. Once our other properties are sold, those procees would be used to retire the loan. We can borrow money for less than it would cost us to draw it out of investments, so this may prove to be the wisest option at this time.
Nothing. We're not out anything if our bid is not selected. We will continue in our present facility for the moment.
Fairmount is already listed for sale. We will list the Pilgrim property, too, and begin making preparations for a move after a closing is scheduled. We could apply for a bridge loan through Church Building & Loan while the properties are on the market so that we do not incur additional out-of-pocket cost. Our goal is to break even on the transactions.
We currently have the financial reserves to submit a bid of $375,000 for the property while allowing us to maintain significant amounts in our endowments without the sale of our existing properties or additional financing options.
We should have the ability to move in phases, given that our facility is currently closed. This should make for an orderly, logical transition so that everything is set up and operational by the time we are able to resume worship and activities.
We intend to invite our current tenant and user groups to come along with us, as there will be plenty of space available for everyone in the new facility. We will continue to embody our vision statement, "everyone welcome, seriously everyone."
In accordance with our Constitution and Bylaws, and given the unusual timing of this vote,
every active member of the congregation will receive a ballot by mail.
For your vote to be counted, you must sign and return your ballot, postmarked no later than midnight Friday, May 1, using the included self-addressed, stamped envelope. The results will be tallied by two individuals selected by the Board, and will be announced in worship and in the Communicator newsletter.
We invite you to pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit, and ask if God is inviting us together to do a new thing.
We welcome your comments in the meantime, as we deliberate together ahead of the vote.