Charlotte-based Elevation Church will no longer lease space in the Matthews Plaza Shopping Center in Independence Boulevard.
That is because, according to the Charlotte Observer, Steve Furtick’s church has closed a deal to purchase the shopping centre. The recently signed purchase agreement is valued to be at $10.2 million, and was closed Wednesday by George Macon of MPV Properties and Will Whitley of New South Properties.
Macon represented Elevation, while Whitley signed for the seller, NSP Matthews Plaza.
The agreement gave Elevation Church full control of the 140,000 square feet of property covered by Matthews Plaza Shopping Center’s title.
Elevation was founded by Pastor Furtick in 2006. It had previously leased a total area of around 45,000 square feet in the shopping centre.
The shopping centre is in addition to the church’s many campuses, as Elevation has succeeded in setting up more than 10 of these in Charlotte in a span of only nine years.
For its progress, the church has been recognised as one of the fastest growing congregations in the United States.
Matthews Plaza Shopping Center was formerly leased to supermarket giant Kmart. However, Kmart stopped leasing Matthew Plaza in 1994. The Center remained vacant until 2004, when NSP Matthews Plaza acquired the propertyand worked to revive the building.
In 2012, the building was reopened for leasing and the Elevation Church became one of its tenants.
NSP Matthews Plaza reportedly spent $12 million for the renovation of Matthews Plaza Shopping Center.
In addition to this acquisition, The Elevation Church’s annual audit for 2013 reveals that the Church also has a new campus being constructed in the Lake Norman area. This additional construction project is worth $10.5 million.
The audit states that the church earned $2.52 million from offerings in 2013, and that it still holds $40.6 million remaining out of a $50 million non-revolving credit facility that it uses to fund construction projects.
A spokesperson with Elevation Church provided The Christian Post with a statement from Elevation Church CFO Chunks Corbett.
“We were excited to take advantage of an opportunity to purchase the plaza and secure our long-term presence in the Matthews community,” said Corbett.
Corbett noted that the primary reason for purchasing the Plaza Shopping Center was so that the rapidly expanding Elevation Church has “flexibility in the future as we grow.”
Built in 2005, the Matthews Plaza Shopping Center is comprised of nearly 139,000 square feet of leasable space on approximately 13 acres.
The Plaza Shopping Center is located on a busy area for traffic and has several tenants located among its property, according to loopnet.com.
“Located at the intersection of Interstate 485, Charlotte’s outbeltway and NC 74 Independence Boulevard at exit 51A. High traffic counts ( 61,252 vehicles) and tremendous demographics,” noted the site.
In 2009, Elevation Church opened a campus at the Plaza Shopping Center, including both a facility for worship and some staff offices. News of the purchase has caused some concern among the other tenants of the shopping center, including Geoffrey Goss, owner of Custom Home Pubs.
In an interview with local media, Goss explained that he plans to move out of the shopping center sometime over the next three months.
“We had word that this was going to happen and we’ve been working with the property manager to accelerate terminating our lease,” said Goss to WCNC.
“They haven’t been difficult neighbors. I think it’s just there is not a lot of cross traffic between church and beer unfortunately.”
Elevation Church explained to CP and to other media outlets that negotiations with the other tenants in the shopping center are continuing with nothing concrete planned regarding the near future.
“We want to make sure that we do what’s best for them as well, so we are in conversations right now with them,” said Joshua Blackson, operations pastor with Elevation, to WCNC.
“It really was a great opportunity for us to ultimately secure our future here in the Matthews community where we are honestly really excited to be.”
Founded in 2006, Elevation Church has experienced rapid growth and expansion, going from a small group of fewer than 20 people to more than ten campuses with approximately 15,000 regular attendees altogether.
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