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LifeWay campus under contract

NASHVILLE (BP) — LifeWay Christian Resources has entered into a contract for the sale of its campus in downtown Nashville. Contract terms, including the sale price, have not been disclosed pending closing of the sale in a few months, according to a LifeWay news release.

The contract is with Uptown Nashville, LLC, a consortium of local and national developers formed specifically to develop this property.

LifeWay president and CEO Thom S. Rainer said in the release he is excited about the prospects for the property as well as LifeWay’s future.

“Although the buyers are still finalizing a master plan for the site, I understand their intention is for it to be a mixed-use development including office, retail, residential, entertainment and hotel,” Rainer said.

“And, the sale — when completed this summer — will provide the resources for LifeWay to build a new facility, hopefully in downtown Nashville, that will support the technologies, collaboration, and culture needed for today’s and tomorrow’s successful national and international ministry.”

Janet Miller, CEO of Colliers International, the brokerage firm representing Uptown Nashville, called the project historic.

“Re-development of the LifeWay campus is one of the largest economic development events in the recent Nashville history,” she said.

“The project will continue to create jobs and investment in the downtown core, much as LifeWay has done the past 120 years. This campus will be a lynchpin in the future development of downtown Nashville and has the potential to become a new gateway to the central business district.”

Miller said she looks forward to an ongoing partnership as “this valuable asset is reimagined and redeveloped.”

Rainer said the buyers have said Uptown Nashville will “architecturally combine historic charm, paying homage to Nashville’s roots, with the finest quality modern and forward-thinking design. They pledge the mixed-use community will be environmentally green, technologically advanced and service-oriented.”

LifeWay has previously acknowledged that after a sale is closed, they will lease back a portion of the facilities until a new building is finished.

The sale involves LifeWay’s 14.5-acre downtown Nashville complex, including more than 1 million square feet of office, warehouse and parking space. About 1,100 of LifeWay’s employees work in the downtown offices, utilizing about a third of the facility. The organization also oversees 186 stores and 4,300 employees in 29 states.

LifeWay began a preliminary feasibility study last August into selling its campus to relocate to facilities better suited to the ministry’s future. The entity was founded in 1891 as the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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