NAI Horizon’s Church Realty Solutions practice links real estate to ministry

Above: Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church. Real Estate | 21 Apr |

A collaborative effort of experience, tenacity and creativity played a role as NAI Horizon’s Church Realty Solutions practice negotiated three deals totaling $3.8 million, “linking real estate to ministry.”

NAI Horizon Senior Vice President Thomas Smith helps churches acquire new buildings, lease part or all of their existing facilities, repurpose buildings to accommodate places of worship, consolidates and assists with the sale and disposition of properties and facilities for churches of all sizes and styles.

Smith represented the seller, Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona, in the $2.41 million disposition of the iconic church at 3539 E. Stanford Drive. The buyer was investor HOH PV LLC of Phoenix.


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In a second deal involving the asset, Smith represented the landlord, HOH PV LLC, in a long-term lease totaling $653,964 for a new tenant, Blessings Community Church of Scottsdale, Arizona.

“We were truly blessed in finding a buyer who appreciated the historical significance of the church architecture and wanted to preserve it but also understood the uniqueness and value of the site itself,” Smith said. “Additionally, our buyer worked to respect the hopes of the Church Board that we locate another church who would equally value the property as a future tenant. Blessings Community Church was the perfect tenant with the objective to expand and celebrate their one-year anniversary as a new church in the Valley.”

Waseem Hamada of Venture REI represented HOH PV LLC in the first deal. Lorence Zimtbaum of Paramount Ventures Realty Group represented Blessings Community Church in the second deal.

“The historical significance and reverence of our church is held in high esteem by past and present members. It was not emotionally easy to let go of our beloved property,” said Dr. David Alexander, Vice President of Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church. “It was important to our Pastor, Church Council and leadership team that we select a broker who was sensitive and empathetic to the feelings and desires that went with the departure of the church property.”

“We also needed a highly capable broker with a diversified resume that demonstrated expertise in the strategic positioning and sale of church properties. Thomas also offered us a fully integrated strategic sales approach and superb marketing platform that coincided with our sales objectives. We also had a desire that

our broker would understand our wishes that the future owner of our church property be another faith community if possible. Our wishes were fulfilled,” Dr. Alexander said.    

Built in 1972, Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church was designed in 1966 by renowned Phoenix architect Bennie Gonzales, FAIA.

“Thomas’ experience enables him to see the church real estate business from all angles,” said NAI Horizon Designated Broker/CEO Terry Martin-Denning. “This provides

his clients an extraordinary level of service. For NAI Horizon it provides a strategic advisor for all things church real estate related.”

In a separate deal for the Church Realty Solutions practice, NAI Horizon represented the buyer in the sale of a commercial office flex building in Scottsdale that will serve as a multi-media facility for Trinity Church, also in Scottsdale.

Smith represented Trinity Church in the $740,000 purchase of 14201 N. Hayden Road, #C-2, in Scottsdale. The building totals 3,340 SF and sits on .31 acres.

Trinity Church plans to utilize and expand the many features built into the facilities, particularly a studio for recordings and presentations of its ministries and development programs.

The sellers, Brad and Lori White of Scottsdale, were represented by Tim Whipple of Hub Commercial.

 “For me, the Church Realty Solutions practice is part business and part ministry and serves as my driving purpose to create and deliver world-class professional real estate services to communities of faith,” Smith said.

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