NASHVILLE (BP) — LifeWay Christian Resources announced Tuesday (July 14) it has hired design and construction-related partners in its efforts to relocate the organization’s corporate headquarters to a new location nearby in downtown Nashville.
LifeWay has contracted with Gresham, Smith and Partners to design its new 216,000-square-foot office building, according to a news release from the Southern Baptist entity. Bell & Associates Construction in Brentwood, Tenn., will manage construction of the new building. Compass Partners, LLC, in Brentwood, Tenn., will help LifeWay manage the process of the new project, serving as the owner’s representative.
“We are blessed to have gathered such a renowned team that will be instrumental in the success of this project,” said Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay. “These three partners are responsible for much of the transformation of Nashville’s skyline over the past 20 years. We are excited about the development of a timeless, long-lasting building in the heart of downtown Nashville that is representative of our values and will serve our ministries for the next 100 years.”
LifeWay anticipates finalizing the sale of its 14.5-acre downtown property in the next few weeks to Uptown Nashville, LLC, a consortium of local and national developers formed specifically to develop the property.
The entity began a preliminary feasibility study last August into selling its campus to relocate to facilities better suited to the ministry’s future.
Some of LifeWay’s downtown buildings date from the early 20th century and weren’t designed for modern technology or collaborative work, Rainer has said. LifeWay has moved printing, assembly and shipping elsewhere, leaving two-thirds of the current property unused. Its complex includes more than 1 million square feet of office, warehouse and parking space. About 1,100 of LifeWay’s employees are scattered through nine downtown buildings. The organization also oversees 186 stores and 4,300 employees in 29 states.
“We cannot waste time, money and other resources on inefficient facilities,” Rainer told messengers at their annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 16-17. Read story on Rainer’s report. “We must be the best stewards of the resources Southern Baptists have entrusted to our care.”
LifeWay, founded in 1891 as the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, expects to acquire new property later this summer with plans to break ground this year on a new facility that is slated for completion by late 2017.