Baptist Convention property to be sold for development

Baptist Convention property to be sold for development
If all goes well in early 2017, the Baptist Convention Center at 1230 Hendricks Avenue will be transformed into a mixed-use residential and retail development.

More evidence that the San Marco’s business district and Jacksonville’s Southbank are becoming hot property is the pending sale of the Baptist Convention Center’s property on Hendricks Avenue in San Marco.

The Florida State Board of Missions announced its approval of a multi-million dollar contract to sell 3.5 acres of land and buildings on Hendricks Avenue at a meeting April 1 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida, according to an article dated April 25 on the Florida Baptist Convention’s website.

A mixed-use residential building with retail space on the lower level and on-site parking is slated to be built on a full city block located at 1230 Hendricks Avenue, bordering the intersection with Nira Street, according to the article.

The property consists of several buildings including the Baptist Convention Center Building, a building that houses the offices of the Florida Baptist Financial Services and the Florida Baptist Credit Union, a metal storage building and a building that was used for theological-education classes and as a recording studio.

The Florida Convention Building served as the Convention’s hub for missions and ministry for Florida Baptists for more than half a century, according to the article.

Brian Moulder of CBRE Group Inc., the commercial real estate firm tasked with marketing the property, said the building was sold to a development firm that has good creditability with working with city officials and has developed other Jacksonville properties, according to the article. The sales agreement was completed March 7 and the contract was signed March 17, according to the article.

Soon after, the development company started making rezoning applications with the city, a process expected to take 175 days, stated the article. Completion of the sale is anticipated by the end of 2016 and construction is slated to begin immediately, Moulder said, according to the article.

Fifty-one percent of the proceeds from the sale will be directed to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program for worldwide mission causes, said Tommy Greene, executive director and treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, in the article.

The building represents a “sacrificial investment made by Florida Baptists nearly six decades ago,” according to the article. In 1958, construction began on the 50,000-square-foot building, which has five floors and a basement, and was completed in 1960. The original cost of the building was $937,017, which included the purchase of land, construction, architects’ fees and furnishings, according to the article.

Over the next five decades, the Convention incurred an additional cost of $3 million to purchase the entire block, build additional buildings and provide capital improvements, according to the article.

Maintenance and upkeep of the aging building initiated the Convention’s decision to sell the property. Several attempts over the last 10 years fell through as real estate values dropped during the economic downturn but, as market conditions have been improving, interest in the Baptist property increased resulting in the sale, according the article.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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