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WOBURN, MA-The Church of Latter Day Saints has acquired a 67,000-sf industrial building here that sits in the middle of a neighborhood for $3.9 million. Officials plan to demolish the building and construct a house of worship on the 4.2-acre site.

Mark Stevens, with GVA Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Stevens, tells GlobeSt.com that the 71 Wyman St. single-story property was originally put up for rent about a year ago by owner Fisher Realty Trust after its former tenants, Lofts Seed and Amarr Door Corp., moved. But because the building was situated in a residential area and zoned as a non-conforming use, strict zoning restrictions made it difficult to lease it up.

“There was a very narrow use allowed and, as a result, we were unable to get a tenant that was willing to operate under those conditions,” notes Stevens, explaining that the regulations limited the property to a maximum of two tenants and restricted its hours of operation. Several developers offered to buy the property with plans of building residential units, but concerns over the long permitting process that could have stalled the actual sale prompted the owner to consider the church’s offer, he adds.

By next spring, the church will begin tearing down the former warehouse and distribution facility, once the long-time home of a flower exchange. They will begin constructing a 20,000-sf brick building that will be used for church services and activities. The remaining land will be reserved for parking and open space. The transaction was handled by Stevens, who represented Fisher Realty, and Matt Daniels with Spaulding & Slye Colliers, who represented the church.

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