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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 3 years ago

Polk County: Daytona developers buy Without Walls Lakeland mega church

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A company led by Daytona Beach-area developers Douglas Cook and George Anderson purchased the former Carpenters Home mega-church property for $3.75 million.

BUYER: Lakeland Senior Living LLC (manager: Douglas Cook and George Anderson), Daytona Beach Shores
SELLER: Evangelical Christian Credit Union
PROPERTY: 771 and 777 Carpenters Way, Lakeland
PRICE: $3.75 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $15 million, August 2005
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Shutts & Bowen LLP, Orlando

PLANS, DESCRIPTION:
A company led by Daytona Beach-area developers Douglas Cook and George Anderson purchased the former Carpenters Home mega-church property for $3.75 million.

The price equated to $12 per square foot. That figure is less than the two-year average price per square foot for even industrial space ($41) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group.

The 67-acre property features about 320,000 square feet of buildings. The largest structure is an 181,701-square-foot sanctuary building with an elevator, 9,600 seats, 22 entry doors, 200 pews, administrative offices, classrooms and a bookstore. The site also includes a 137,495-square-foot, four-story educational building and several smaller buildings.

The main church building was constructed in 1985.

In 2005, Without Walls International Church, one of the fastest growing churches at the time, purchased the property from The Carpenter's Home Church Inc. for $15 million. Since the purchase, Without Walls International Church lost a number of its members and income following the pastor's divorce from his wife and various negative media reports, including some questioning its financial management. Without Walls International Church stopped holding services at the Lakeland facility, known as the Without Walls Central Church, around 2011.
The current seller, lender Evangelical Christian Credit Union, took ownership from Without Walls International Church, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in July 2014.

Matt Messier and Joey Blakley of CNL Specialty Real Estate Services in Orlando represented the seller.

“The buildings were in very poor condition,” Blakley says. “Somebody pulled out the electrical wiring and the air-conditioning system was stripped. It also had water intrusion from years of nobody occupying the building. I believe that most likely the main building will be torn down, but the old Carpenter Home union hall building may be redeveloped.”

The Business Observer was unable to contact Cook or Anderson for comment prior to deadline.

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