Former Dollar Store Redeveloped into a Church Building
In March of 2012, Religious Real Estate was hired by Bacall Development (www.bacalldevelopment.com) to market their former Family Dollar Store at 2141 Puritan, Detroit. The Family Dollar Store (religiousrealestate.com/Listings/PuritanDetroit_titlepage.shtml) had closed a year earlier due to underperformance. The building was vandalized with the copper piping being stolen, heating and cooling units damaged and the roof was leaking (standing water was evident in multiple locations). The utilities were turned off at the property so it had already been through the freeze thaw cycles of a Michigan winter. Its condition at the time represented some challenges.
The building was originally a neighborhood shopping center (Great Scott). The north side of Puritan was an upper middle class neighborhood leading into the upper class neighborhood of University District and Detroit Golf Club Estates. The neighborhood to the south side of the property was more middle class. Detroit as a hole has lost two-thirds of its population since peaking in the mid fifties. The neighborhood to the north of the property has seen vacant homes for the first time in its history. The neighborhood to the south has suffered blight with homes going vacant and/or being demolished.
The Building’s Bones are Evaluated
On the plus side, the property had the following positive attributes:
1. Located on the end cap of a city block (stretching from Bayless to LaSalle) on a busy thoroughfare (24 hour traffic count of 8,137)
2. Single story construction meant no steps (11,900 square foot building)
3. Modern rooftop heating and cooling units could be repaired
4. Roof leaks could be patched (a complete roof tear off was not necessary)
5. Parking lot for sanctuary seating 250 was already in place (total parcel .63 acres)
6. Clear span construction with support pillars every 24 ft to 32 ft
7. Ceiling heights of 15 ft
In this challenge, Pastor Williams (Church of Jesus Our Lord (insert link for Pastor Williams) saw an opportunity. He used his background as a general contractor to see “what could be”. The shell of the building met his requirement for a modern building with no steps. He renovated the handicap bathrooms that had been vandalized while adding new bathrooms to service the sanctuary. The roof did require some patching with the surprise being that the rooftop heating/cooling units were salvageable. A fence was added around the parking lot.
The building that started out as a grocery store in 1936 is now one of the nicest buildings within a mile in each direction along Puritan Avenue. There are vacant lots to the south of the church that could be used for expansion. A vacant building that was on the edge of economic viability is now a success story. Rev. William’s ministry, Church of Jesus Our Lord is playing a positive roll in stabilizing a neighborhood.
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In my role as Executive Director of the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, I have had the pleasure to work with Mr. Bill Skubik for the past fifteen years. I believe Bill has looked out for our best interests in every situation and I believe you will be in good hands if you choose to work with Bill Skubik.
We enjoyed our time with Religious Real Estate and we have used them with two other properties since our land purchase.
Religious Real Estate created a detailed marketing package for our property and implemented a thorough marketing program, contact the churches, charter schools and other charitable organizations. Religious Real Estate has done a competent job and we would recommend their services.
Without hesitation, I would recommend Religious Real Estate to any lending organization that has the unfortunate experience of foreclosing on a property and then the disposition sale.
Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate handled the sale of our church. He created and implemented a multi-faceted sales program for the property. We would use Religious Real Estate again if the need arouse.
Religious Real Estate was relentless in finding a buyer for our property. They negotiated a land contract that was the best outcome in the current market conditions. In this challenging environment, they rose to the occasion. We would use Religious Real Estate in the future.
Religious Real Estate secured a renter for the church who eventually purchased the property. We highly recommend Religious Real Estate to any religious organization with real estate needs.
In March of 2004, our church was able to move from renting to owning. Bill Skubik of Religious Real Estate was extremely helpful in the process.
We relied on Religious Real Estate for their expertise and advice and found them exceptionally professional and greatly helpful. Needless to say, we are enjoying our new church home.
The leadership of our church felt that we were treated fairly and honestly. We would recommend Religious Real Estate for any real estate needs your church may have in the future.