EXPANDING OUR REACH FOR GOD’S GLORY
Downtown Campus – Gabe Coyle
Shawnee Mission Campus – Tim Spanburg
So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory.
~ Romans 15:7a (The Message)
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is this building?
We are very desirous of staying in the Crossroads District. As discussions with the seller progress, a specific address will be provided.
How big is the building?
We are looking for a building that is between 10,000 and 14,000 square feet.
How did you choose the location?
We have a strong desire to stay in the Crossroads district.
Shawnee Mission Property
Where is this building?
13328 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee, KS
How big is the building?
26,887 square feet
How did you choose the location?
Midway between I-35 and I-435 has always been a target for several reasons. This area is in need of more Bible-teaching churches. The strong residential growth west of I-435 is often drawn east, into this area; our presence would provide a gospel-centered church for these people. Additionally, Shawnee Mission Parkway is a heavily trafficked road. People would be able to see us and access us easily.
I attend at Leawood, Brookside, or Olathe. Why should I support a project in Shawnee Mission or Downtown?
We are one church in multiple locations, and an investment in Reach:KC is an investment in the mission of Christ Community. From the very beginning of Christ Community, we have had a heart to reach all of Kansas City, and we believe we are best positioned to do this, and can accelerate our mission, if we all work together.
We have been looking for a property in Shawnee for almost four years. We have been looking for a property for Downtown for over a year. These two good properties in ideal locations came available at at the same time. The inventory of available properties is not large. Demand is high.
Why are we making two purchases at once?
It was never our intention for two purchases to occur at once. In November 2015, a group of people from multiple campuses reviewed the growth rates at each campus and laid out a long-term capital expansion plan. That team determined Olathe had the most immediate need, which led us to expand the Olathe Campus through our Reach:KC initiative. Finding a permanent home for our Shawnee Mission Campus was the second most immediate need identified by our team. Our initial plan was to find a piece of land to hold until a build could occur. Increased space Downtown was identified as our third most immediate need. Although our Downtown Campus was growing at a rapid pace, we had a lease at our existing facility that could be extended. The search for land in Shawnee commenced immediately and many, many parcels were viewed. The search for Downtown space started over a year ago. Since that time, multiple spaces have been toured.
Why two at once? They both came on the market and came to our attention at the same time.
Are these good prices for the two properties?
Those familiar with commercial real estate indicate we are headed toward good prices in both locations. Since neither property is in contract at this point, it would be best not to speculate what the final price will be.
It should be noted, however, that the potential to purchase a building for Shawnee Mission at a price point relatively close to what we had planned to spend for only land represents a tremendous savings.
Did you consider leasing rather than buying the buildings?
Yes. Although leasing is not an option for the Downtown property, for the Shawnee property we ran several leasing scenarios through a net present value analysis. Purchasing is the better financial option in this situation.
This seems like a lot of money. How will we pay for this?
For the immediate few months, we have identified a few vacant staff positions that have not been filled. We will go very slowly on filling those, moving those unspent dollars toward this endeavor. Our health care cost increase for fiscal 2019 was less than was budgeted, and we will apply that savings to this endeavor. We are making the need known to all and will pray for increased giving on a month-to-month basis, and we are hopeful for larger than normal giving in December. There is also $800,000 in outstanding Reach:KC commitments that we believe will be fulfilled in December of this year. Lastly, we have arranged for debt financing for the remainder.
Will we have to go into debt to do this?
Probably. Although the church does have unrestricted cash, it is the goal to maintain ninety days of operating cash in reserve. That reserve insulates us from potential fluctuations in giving and allows us time to adjust spending if necessary. Although our debt on the Olathe Campus expansion project is well below the anticipated $3 million, it still stands at $1.3 million. Yes, we will probably be financing at least part of the purchase with debt.
We are still in debt for the Olathe Campus. Is it wise to go further into debt?
Debt is not a “black and white” issue. Different people have different views. Most financial counselors, however, would say that controlled debt, especially for appreciating assets, can be an effective tool. Although we have no guarantees about the future value of these properties, this country has seen property values increase for 53 out of the last 55 years.
We just had a capital campaign in 2016-2018, and it isn’t even finished yet. Is a request for more capital going to be an annual event?
We certainly hope not. We do not like “campaigns.” However, our mission is to be a caring family of multiplying disciples, influencing our community and world for Jesus Christ. That mission does require money. Our congregation has a long history of generosity, and we hope to meet these needs through that continued and growing generosity.
We embarked on the Downtown Campus in 2011. They grew. They have needs. We embarked on the Shawnee Mission Campus in 2015. They want to grow. They have needs. These buildings came to our attention, after a long search, at the same time. This is not “merely” a request for capital. This is a request to reach Kansas City with the claims of Christ—which should have an impact on every day of the week, every decision, every personal interaction.
What is the anticipated timeline? When could we move in?
Any answer to this question is speculation. However, if we make some assumptions about the length of time for closing, design, securing contractors, and construction of tenant improvements, it is possible to be holding services six months after the congregational approval. If we make improvements consecutively rather than simultaneously, the second campus would be operational a few months later.
Why is this happening so quickly?
Although these processes may seem faced-paced, we have by no means been moving frenetically. Staff members have been involved in varying degrees for over three years. The Elder Leadership Team has been poring over spreadsheets and analytical work for several months. We are striving to be measured and thoughtful. At the same time, with the shortage of good locations available in these two locations, there is a mild sense of urgency.
Are these two campuses growing?
Shawnee Mission: This campus has been struggling to grow, driven in part by location, lack of a permanent home, and, in 2017, an uncanny rate of out-of-town moves due to work relocations.
Downtown: This campus grew at dramatic rates for three years until they ran out of space. They have been unable to grow since the space constraints kicked in.
Why buy such a big building when you don’t need that much space?
Although not the initial goal, buying something larger than what we immediately need permits room for growth and, at some later date, could potentially facilitate other non-traditional uses. At this point in time, we would only finish out the space that is needed.
How much tenant improvements do we have to do?
As soon as we are in contract, we will have construction experts make detailed estimates. The Shawnee property is an empty structure and will need work. The Downtown space will require minimal work on the first floor and even less on the second floor. The building has had recent upgrades in sprinkling and HVAC. The major work there will be restroom improvement and the installation of an ADA-compliant ramp.
Will you do the tenant improvements at the same time?
Probably not. Since Downtown already has a more-permanent home, we will probably work on the Shawnee Mission space first. That will permit us to cease paying rent sooner as that rent is on a month-to-month basis. Doing the work consecutively rather than simultaneously will help cash flow as well.
Do we still have to pay the current Downtown Campus lease?
Yes. We made a commitment. We need to keep it. We will explore sub-leasing, which is permissible, but we will honor our commitment that runs through June 2020.
Are these purchases consistent with our desire to make our faith impact all seven days in a week?
Yes. It will immediately permit more cost-efficient mid-week opportunities at the Shawnee location. Eventually (not immediately), the space at both locations that is not currently needed could provide opportunities for engaging start-up companies, artists, or preschool children.
Will the new Downtown location permit a preschool to be opened?
It could. There will be adequate space for that, but code requirements will need to be explored and priced. Although there is a great need for a preschool in the downtown area and we have a strong desire to meet that need, there is no immediate plan.
Will the new Downtown location still have First Friday exhibits?
We certainly plan on that. The proposed new location is still in the the heart of the gallery area, and we still believe we can influence our city in that way.
How can I learn more?
Staff and elders will be available to discuss details and answer questions on Thursday, December 6, 6:30-8:00pm, at the Multisite Office, 10901 Lowell Ave. #290, Overland Park, KS 66210. If you are not able to attend, you may contact your Campus Pastor or any of the elders.