The Clear Path Forward process aided in the details needed for Grace Community Church to find an effective space to call home. Dave Benham, Ministry Solutions’ Director of Church Expansion, used this information to execute a plan for Grace with building renderings specifically designed for their worship, administration, and outreach needs.
The Clear Path Forward process probed Grace Community’s vision for their first ever home for worship. We secured not only the correct numbers and parameters, but also fostered conversations to understand the heart of Grace Community. We can find a space that meets the parameters, but the heart behind a church needs to be the primary consideration. Based on discussion around the vision, we garnered how much lobby, office, kid, and other core ministry space they would need, and the hopes for the ministry in these areas. With these conversations in hand, Ministry Solutions’ team created a prototype space. Frugality was key in Arlington’s expensive real estate market, and we did not want to waste even a square foot. We then began our search for real estate that would allow Grace Community to continue to pour into the community and furthering their mission.
Negotiating Through Challenges
The space did not come right away, and the months began to pass. Ministry Solutions and Grace Community reached out to other churches about acquiring or sharing property, but nothing came to fruition. Grace Community did not lose heart.
Finally, we began to see deals as a result of COVID softening retail leases, and buildings started becoming available. In an effort to get ahead of these trends, Ministry Solutions’ suggested a commercial realtor and led the interview process with Grace Community leadership. Together we found the right agent and passed along their unique building parameters. Ministry Solutions interacted with the agent regularly, making sure the parameters of square footage, adjacent parking, and ceiling height were taken into consideration for each reviewed property.
Several properties were located, but the one that emerged was the Ballston Quarter, a unique second floor mall property with tremendous potential! We looked at the space with Grace Community and did a test fit floorplan to determine if this building would work. Additionally, our team was able to negotiate the lease down to $20 per square foot and secure a tremendous price for this location. This is an outstanding rate at about half of the standard rate in the area.