Bill Couchenour | Monday, February 21, 2011
More and more churches are finding that purchasing and repurposing existing buildings can be an effective way for developing the right ministry space. We asked the Cogun Project Consultants that are working directly with churches about what is driving this trend. Here are their Top Ten reasons why re-purposing buildings for ministry can be a good idea:
1. UNUSUAL MARKET CONDITIONS - More suitable buildings are empty and open in many areas. Commercial property is at unprecedented low prices.
2. DEVELOPED SITE – The parking lot, site lighting, and other site work is usually in place, so site approvals are usually significantly shorter. Site development fees are also minimal or non-existent.
3. TAX BENEFITS FOR SELLER - Many sellers can sell to churches cheaper since they may qualify for a tax break (discounted sale to non-profit).
4. REDEMPTION METAPHOR - “Redeeming” a decaying building is a powerful image to the community. The story of redemption can be told in renovation … renovation is restoration.
5. ADDITIONAL FUNDING POTENTIAL - Because renovation may be less costly than new construction, it has potential to allow more funds for Audio/Visual elements, thematic design, added staff, etc.
6. SPEED TO MINISTRY – Design and construction timelines are typically shorter giving more opportunity for ministry in the new facility.
7. LOCAL FAVOR - Local government agencies want to see these empty eyesores filled and are generally favorable to re-purposing existing buildings in the community.
8. FAMILIARITY – People in the area know about the building because it’s a recognizable location.
9. IT’S GREEN – Re-purposing existing buildings already have a footprint developed so there’s minimal added environmental impact.
10. CONTEXTUAL – Moving to an existing building potentially serves a population that otherwise would not have access to your ministry. It engages people where they are and in their context.
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