Belmont Property Q&A

Thank you for taking the time to dive into this page, which will hopefully help answer many of your questions about this potential property and our church's transition. Andy Stanley once said that "vision leaks" and that we can cast vision and continue to cast vision, but there's still a tendency for it to leak and for us to lose it a little bit and forget why we're doing what we're doing. This leads to us losing the why, and then we get in the business of doing church because that's what we do. So, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this vision and the conversations taking place began years and years ago before I was even on the radar with Connecting Pointe.

I'm sure our leadership team can verify it, but God has been doing something in the hearts of people of this church to go to the people that Jesus would go to if he were here today. We know that Jesus loves everyone, but it seems like the ones that he reached out to and paid particular attention to were the ones that everyone else left behind. I think this speaks to all of us because we are all lost sheep without Jesus, and we're thankful that he's the one who will leave the 99 and meet us where we're at to discover hope and healing. This new property allows us to continue our mission of connecting disconnected people to Jesus.

-Pastor Doug

What property are we looking at purchasing?

We want to purchase this entire Belmont Shopping Center at 11th and Cornhusker Hwy. This DOES NOT include the lot that Runza occupies, but it does include everything highlighted in the yellow box. The church would eventually occupy the space that is now Mai's Market (outlined in red).

satellite view of Belmont Shopping Center

The property itself is 11 acres divided into 19 plots. There are also 19 leasable spaces (17 currently filled) across five buildings. Most tenants have been there long-term, with long leases and multiple extension options.

Current Tenants include:

  • LeNails Salon
  • Primetime Clearance
  • Mulberry's BBQ
  • ACE Rent to Own
  • Family Dollar
  • AAA Ultimate Pawn
  • Mai's Market (will be closing)
  • Wells Fargo (ATM Only)
  • Sprouts Child Development Center
  • Taco Inn
  • Egg Roll King
  • E&N Auto Repair
  • Cost Cutters
  • Caterpillar Vapes

In addition to the existing buildings, vacant lots already subdivided as building lots are located north of the existing grocery store. These lots would be ideal for building duplexes to use as transitional housing, further aligning this space with one of our missions.

What's the parking situation like over there? Are there specific parking spaces for specific businesses?

There are specific parking spaces for certain businesses. However, most of them are closed on Sunday, meaning we would not be impacted. More parking is available at this property than our current space, including an additional parking area on the south side of the property near Egg Roll King and Taco Inn if needed.

The big thing is that it's all flat! You won't have to worry about whether your car slid down the hill when you leave church.

what might the build out of this property look like for the church?

The space we would occupy is about 23,000 square feet, and our current building is about 23,000 square feet. The difference is that the grocery store is an empty shell, so we can create spaces that best fit our needs without figuring out where to put things inside an existing space.

The image below is a rough diagram of what the space could look like. Please note that this design is not final but rather intended to help you visualize how the church and daycare could potentially fit into the space.

What is the financial scope of this purchase?

The purchase price of the property is $5,250,000. After having a builder look at the initial block drawing above, we are estimating that our construction costs will come in around $2,000,000. That puts us at a total cost of $7,250,000.

Connecting Pointe currently has $2,800,000 in our account from the sale of the 1901 S 70th St property. We would keep $200,000 in our account as a reserve for operational costs, and use $2,600,000 as a down payment on the loan.

We plan to enter into a capital campaign once we have the property purchased and construction drawings complete. We anticipate that our financial goal for this campaign will be $600,000. This money plus the $2,600,000 that we already have, would mean we only have to borrow $4,050,000.

The loan would be structured in a way that we are only paying interest for the first two years, or until we take occupancy of the renovated space. The current interest rate is estimated at 8.5% worst case scenario for a 30 year amortization that is reevaluated every five years. This means that in five years if the rates have gone down, so would our payment.

Taking all of this into consideration, once we occupy the space, our annual mortgage payment would be $392,307 for principal and interest. We will be utilizing the income from the property to service this loan.

The annual income of this property is $669,422 with annual operating expenses of $212,607, leaving us with a net operating income of $456,815 after all of the bills have been paid.

After subtracting our mortgage payment ($392,307) from the net operating income ($456,815), we would have $64,508 per year of additional income. Our current church budget is not completely covered by tithes and offerings, so in order to continue operating on the same budget, we would have to deduct $27,000 from this additional income to help support the church. This still leaves us with an income stream of about $37,000 per year that we can save towards future major repairs, etc.

We believe this falls within the current parameters of the bank, however, if we need to have more cash flow year to year, we have the option to sell the lot that Taco Inn sits on. This would reduce our overall mortgage from $4,050,000 to approximately $3,250,000 leaving us about $70,000 in income per year vs. $37,000.

Do we have to have all $600,000 from the capital campaign in order to move forward with the purchase?

We do not need this money in order to purchase the property, however we will need it in order to complete a full build out and renovation of the property. Once we have purchased the property, we will begin the process of introducing this campaign. By the time that construction drawings are complete and building has started, the timelines should align. We also plan to do construction in phases, which will allow more time to hold the full capital campaign.

I hear this property is in the floodplain?

Yes, and there has been conversation around that. There are couple issues. Obviously being in a floodplain, we're going to have to have flood insurance, so we've contacted several insurance companies and are getting those proposals back to us. There's also a FEMA regulation that states if renovations cost 50% or more of the value of the property, that you must raise the ground level to two feet above the flood plain. Because of this, we've also had conversations with the lead of the Safety and Planning Commission and he has sent us an email (we wanted it in writing) that said we will be fine as long as we phase this out. Once we land on the architect, they'll have to do some ground studies and work to help us in that regard too. 

Do we have anyone helping with the complexity of navigating this purchase?

We felt that putting together a team of experts to help us walk through this process was essential. In doing so, we brought on Bill Ashley as a consultant to guide us through this process. Bill is from Kansas City and happens to be a friend of Pastor Doug's. He attends the Nazarene church where Doug came from (Grace Community) in Spring Hill, Kansas. Bill has been in commercial real estate as an investor for many years and owns many commercial properties. He has also owned and served as CEO of Allied Insurance for decades. His vast knowledge of commercial real estate has been an invaluable asset.

One of the items Bill has assisted with is developing a proforma to help us determine the project's financial viability. This document not only shows that this would be doable but would also be a great long-term investment for the church.

We have also engaged an attorney specializing in large commercial real estate transactions to evaluate all contracts, leases, and title issues.

How would the property be managed?

NAIFMA has been managing the property for over 10 years, and we would continue to utilize them for the management of the property. The fee that they charge would be less than what it would cost to bring someone on staff. We have also received input from multiple sources that as a church, we do not want to be in the business of property management. The fees that NAIFMA currently charges are already included in the annual cost of the property and accounted for in our pro forma.

Will Noah's Ark daycare center move to the new location or stay at the current site?

There are discussions about the future of Noah's Ark daycare center, however a definitive plan has not been made. Our goal is to have a daycare at the new location with us, however there are issues such as staffing that we must also overcome.

when will the grocery store tenant have to vacate?

The current grocery store tenant is expected to vacate within 90 days of the property being acquired. The departure timeline may align with the church's transition plans and construction progress. We have learned from other sources that the grocery store has already discounted items in preparation for vacating.

What are the next steps to move this project forward?

Per our bylaws, we need the following:

  • A two-thirds vote of approval from our church membership (vote scheduled for May 19th)
  • Approval from the District Advisory Board (vote May 9th)
  • Approval from the Church Leadership Team (vote May 14th)

We are also waiting on the property's appraisal and a letter of commitment from the bank stating they will loan us the money. Once we have all of this, we can move forward with closing, which is scheduled for June 17th.

Once we close on the building, we will select an architect to create construction drawings and finalize the design. This is generally a very involved process and will likely take several months. The next step after that would be to put the project out to builders to bid on. That said, we are looking at a minimum of a year, likely longer, until we are in the new space.

when do we have to vacate the current building at 1901 s 70th st?

The last Sunday service at 1901 S 70th will be August 25th.

Where are we going to have church until the new space is ready

Our current "Plan A" is to renovate and utilize some vacant space at the new Belmont property during the interim. The timeline of purchasing the property would allow us to take ownership and still have a couple of months this summer to ready the temporary space. This would include installing carpet, restrooms, and making cosmetic updates to the space. Utilizing this smaller area on a property that we would own would save the church upwards of $4000 per month by not paying to rent another venue.

We would hold our first service in the temporary space on Sept 1.

Will the church continue to have an office location?

The Connecting Pointe offices will be moving to the 2nd floor of the Destinations building. We will have more information on this in the future.

Still have questions?

We want to be as transparent as possible during this transition, so if you have a question that hasn't yet been answered, please submit it here.