We finally closed. The property is ours. (we just need to pay for it) April 30th, 2008 was the big day. What a day it was. One-year prior, we entered into a contract to purchase an 18,000 sq ft facility complete with 28 offices, a recording studio, and 10,000 sq ft of air-conditioned warehouse. The building is on 23 acres of raw land less than ½ mile off the I-4 corridor in Lakeland.
The contract was for six months. We put $30,000.00 down and were to raise a total of $500,000.00 as a down payment on a total cost of 2.5 million dollars. At the end of the six months we had the option to extend the contract for six months, one month at a time for an additional $10,000.00 per month. At the end of the year we had $100,000.00 in escrow which would be lost if we did not close on April 30th.
Throughout the year we fasted, prayed, called everyone we knew, (and some we didn’t) and began to raise the $500,000.00. It was not easy. I was told I should quit, that it is over my head (which I knew) even the local paper (Lakeland Ledger) said “bold yes, feasible???” Understandably, there were skeptics on every side. Now I am not saying I am some big man of faith. For the most part, everyone had every right to tell me these things. From the worlds’ point of view, they were right.
But we don’t live by the worlds’ point of view. We see things that are not, as though they were…(Heb 11). God had given me a word to move forward. I put out the call for help and many stood with us.
We by the last day of the contract we still needed $80,000.00. We had been notified that the seller’s attorney’s office would close at 5:00 pm and the deal would be off. I would lose $100,000.00 in escrow, and one year worth of work. WE PRAYED. At 2:30 pm I received a call from a custom new homebuilder, whom I had only met a few months earlier. He had already sown $10,000.00 towards the purchase but was returning my call from a few days prior. He asked me what he could do to help. I told him I needed $80,000.00. He said he would get back to me in a few days. Then I informed him I didn’t have a few days, I only had a few hours. By 5:00 pm I had a check for $80,000.00 in my hand and was sitting at the closing office ready to purchase the new building. GLORY TO GOD.
Because the odds of closing were against me, I had agreed with the sellers they could use the first month after closing to move out. (In case I did not close they would not have moved) So May was a waiting period.
The Month of June has been a month of renovations. We have moved a few walls, painted everything, and are now in the process as of 6/27/08 of laying tile in the halls. The offices will get new carpet. We plan to move in the week of July 7th.
We have a new direction from God for our ministry. We will utilize this property to the fullest. More on that latter.
I had put together a 5-year business plan so I could get a vision as to how we would work out the details after closing to pay the remaining balance. The owners are carrying the remaining $2,000,000.00 at a low interest rate. I have two interest only payments twice per year. The first is in November 08, of $61,000.00. The loan will balloon in 5 years.
My business plan for the first year was to change the zoning of the property from RVL (residential very low) to BP (business park). The building was built in 1992 and at that time was in the county. It was annexed into the city of Lakeland two years ago. The property all around it is being converted to commercial. I knew I needed to do the same thing to make the 23 acres more valuable.
The day I came home from our medical trip to Ucila Mexico (see photo gallery) I had a notice on my desk of a hearing on the property next to me to rezone it to the same zoning I desired. (it was raw land with no developments) I felt it would be good to go there and see how the city was going to handle my neighbor’s request. I was shocked when I saw on the agenda for the day the listing of OUR PROPERTY to be rezoned from RVL TO BP.
It seems that after the city annexed the property they determined it was not zoned properly. So in the best interest of the city they applied to themselves (they have to abide by the same process as everyone else) to change the zoning of my property. They did not have to notify anyone because it already had a commercial building on the property.
WOW. I spoke up and told them I was the new owner. They thought I was there to fight. It was a great day when we came into agreement to change the zoning.
God had this in the works for over 6 months before I purchased the property. It cost thousands of dollars and much time and effort to change zoning and God did it for me the first month we owned the property. GLORY TO GOD.
I will continue to post new events as they unfold concerning the new property and the coming changes in our ministry. Check out the photo gallery to see our progress. Send us your email address and we will notify you when we post updated news.
God Bless you and thank you for your help. If you would like to give towards this our any project we are doing you can click on donate and give online. Just include an email to let us know how to apply your donation.