And identifies a model that may save many churches.
MIAMI, FL, January 25, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Miami, the spiritual heart of the downtown bay-front area for 122 years, sold its church property at 400 Biscayne Boulevard for $55 million to buyers known as PMG or Property Markets Group.
The 1.2-acre property in downtown Miami, which currently houses the church’s operations and worship spaces, closed its sale on Thursday February 18th, to developer PMG, who plans to build two residential towers. FUMC sought to remain at the same location, so the relationship with the potential buyer was very important.
The church worked with a strategic team of trusted professionals for this development discovery process. This carefully selected team was headed by Jason Randolph and Audrey Warren who helped to effectively fulfill the church’s mission of growth and look at opportunities to create a mixed-used facility in partnership with a development firm. PMG was the developer chosen and the first project on the land at 400 Biscayne will fall under PMG’s X Social Communities portfolio. This development caters to modern professionals seeking a connected and convenient lifestyle at an attainable price in a downtown setting. The project will feature approximately 20,000 square feet of commercial space as well as over 690 units overlooking Biscayne Bay in the heart of Downtown Miami.
“This is our third investment in the Biscayne corridor, increasing our ability to create innovative living experiences for residents,” adds Ryan Shear, Principal of PMG. “We feel that this market is one of the most important areas of Miami from a future growth perspective, general location and view standpoint.”
The purchase of the land allows for the church to continue operating post-closing until the developers are ready to move forward with their plans. Upon construction of the new development, the developer has agreed, under the terms of the agreement, to build a new state-of-the-art church with a separate entrance. Plans for the new church are underway and have been a collaborative effort between the FUMC Church and the developer through bi-weekly meetings.
Pastor Dr. Audrey Warren of FUMC, who co-lead the project comments; “This property decision is one of the most important ones in recent decades for the church. FUMC Miami has made the courageous decision to value people over property and in doing so has found a creative way to secure both a physical and missional presence in downtown Miami. The timing was right for the church to take advantage of the revitalization in the neighborhood and gracefully grow together with the thriving city around us. This sale will provide a new structure and parking to meet the church’s future operating needs and the resources to grow the ministries of this downtown campus. We are excited to collaborate with PMG and other community partners to make a positive impact in downtown Miami for years to come.”
Jason Randolph, chair of the redevelopment committee for the church commented, “As a resident and business owner in Miami, I see this as an incredible growth opportunity for the church and it represents the innovative social change that is the hallmark of our community and the FUMC ministry. I am privileged to be a part of it and look forward to many more years of growth and success.”
FUMC Miami has big plans to expand their ministries and has already used some of their initial funds to grow their homeless mission by the introduction of mobile shower units for the homeless. The 30-foot trailer equipped with six shower units and bathrooms is now available every Wednesday and Sunday morning to the homeless. Hygiene kits, haircuts and clothing are also made available. Breakfast is also served to the homeless on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings.
Pastor Dr. Audrey Warren, the driving force of the church redevelopment and homeless mission, comments “The reaction to the mobile showers has been over-whelming. Having access to regular hygiene is a fundamental part of good health and well-being. It is also part of personal dignity – it can create a turning point in someone’s life. While many other organizations are able to focus on rehousing families we do not have the capacity. Our mission is to work with the chronically and continuously homeless homeless in Miami.” Dr Warren adds, “Our hope with the mobile showers is to give people the opportunity to start their day in a new direction and we are hoping to expand our mission beyond the Downtown area and go to where we are needed. We would like to expand to mobile health care clinics, mental health assistance, food trucks and more. We are thrilled about the launch of the mobile showers and have to thank our partners, Live Fresh Inc, Feed My Sheep and all those who help make all this possible.”
As many churches find themselves closing their doors, FUMC in downtown Miami has identified a model beyond survival and blazed a trail for growth that others may follow.
About First United Methodist Church, FUMC Miami
History. In 1966, two downtown congregations, Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church and White Temple Methodist Episcopal Church, merged to form our current congregation known as First United Methodist Church of Miami, FUMC Miami. This property decision is one of the most important ones in recent decades for the church.
As the church and community grow, there has been major focus on the homeless mission. FUMC Miami manages the Homeless Mission of Downtown Miami, which feeds nearly 200 homeless people twice a week. This homeless mission was originally started by Dr James Hutson, who is the grandson of Dr James Jackson, the first doctor in Miami and started the first hospital called Miami General, which eventually was named after him, Jackson Hospital. In a decision to expand the mission and think ahead of community growth, FUMC recently launch the first mobile showers for the homeless in Miami. Statistics have proved that many homeless are migrating West, away from newly renovated Downtown landscape and so the Homeless Mission is growing to be more mobile so they can look after more people and in more areas. They are hoping to expand the mission to include mobile clinics in the near future.
About Property Markets Group:
PMG was founded by Kevin Maloney in 1991, and is a premier real estate investment, development and general construction firm. The company is headquartered in New York with offices in Miami and Chicago. PMG is one of the few remaining full-service, large-scale development companies with staff capable of maneuvering all facets of the development process. With direct hands-on experience in the acquisition, renovation, financing, operation and marketing of commercial and residential real estate, PMG has completed 85 residential buildings in New York, Florida, and Chicago, and over 150 real estate projects throughout the United States.
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