LEESBURG, FL-Paying what local brokers tell GlobeSt.com may be one of the highest per-acre prices for local land in recent years, the World Mission Society Church of God has acquired a 1.3-acre parcel housing an 8,852-sf building at 32714 County Road 473 on the outskirts of town for $585,000. The site is about 45 miles northwest of Downtown Orlando.

Trammell Crow Co.’s Specialty Brokerage Group, which is generating new sales leads abroad for church-owned land in the US, handled the transaction. Based on the amount of land alone, the sales price equates to $439,850 per acre or about $10.09 per sf. Area brokers tell GlobeSt.com those sort of prices are generally recorded for premium retail locations, not for church land in outlying metro areas.

Based on the building’s size, however, the price comes out to $66.08 per sf, considered to be the current estimated replacement cost for a comparable structure. “Despite the language and geographic barriers, we were able to negotiate terms that satisfied both parties; mediate the sale; and ensure all proper documentation was in place,” says Matthew Messier who negotiated the deal for the church with Trammell Crow broker Nicholas McKinney.

“When looking at a church transaction, you have to look at sanctuary capacity, parking, amenities and related factors,” McKinney tells GlobeSt.com. “In addition, the buyer came from outside the local market and is going to establish a ‘destination church’ which will pull an audience from a much further distance.” The broker adds, “With a sales price of $585,000, the property traded for $66 per sf, which is a fair market price for a very functional facility.”

The church feels it got a good deal. Pastor David Cho says his group was “very appreciative and pleased” that Trammell Crow “was able to discover the property’s availability for a group like ours who are not locally based.” The World Mission Society Church of God’s US headquarters is in Los Angeles.

The property was previously listed for four months by Trammell Crow. “Before retaining us, the church tried to sell it themselves unsuccessfully for two years,” McKinney tells GlobeSt.com. “The property was not sold by the church because the buyer was not going to come from the local market.”

Mid-Lake Christian placed its property on the market to help fund its new 27,000-sf location at 388 State Road 19 in Tavares. “They bought the land and had already started constructing their new building,” McKinney says. The church plans to move into the facility within the next two weeks.

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