Journey Elders commissioned a Building Committee. The charge of the committee is to evaluate Journey’s current lease and make a recommendation to the Elders on ‘what’s next’ as the current lease was set to expire on May 1, 2018 and renewal was cost prohibitive
The Building Committee, made up of both leadership and community members, met for the first time. At this time 70 Newport, the building we were leasing, was listed for $3.68M. The Building Committee quickly concluded that Journey needed to find a location that met the following requirements: located in downtown Bend, approximately 15,000-20,000 square feet in size, had substantial parking within a quarter mile, had space we could grow in to, and was within a budget that the church could afford (at the time estimated to be around $3M).
Journey added a fourth service to accommodate the rapid growth of the church. After scouring the available options, and even calling on some properties not available, the Committee concluded that there was only one suitable property that met the criteria outlined in January.
Pastor Keith and Pastor Jon met with the building owners to discuss the future of 70 Newport. The owners presented the church with terms to purchase the building. After a handful of adjustments, the Building Committee recommended to the Elders that the church proceed with the purchase of 70 Newport.
The purchase/sale agreement was finalized and Pastor Keith presented to the Church the JOURNEY WITH US Phase 1 fundraising campaign. Journey Church needed to come up with approximately $500,000 by mid-September in order to close on the sale of the building.
The Building Committee completed all due diligence to ensure our investment in 70 Newport is a good stewardship of the resources God has provided. We will also finalize a handful of details with the city to ensure it meets both our short term and long term goals.
With all the due diligence completed, and the $500,000 fundraising goal surpassed, it simply became a waiting game for us to close on the purchase of the building.
We officially closed on the purchase of the building on October 13th at 4:30pm!
With ownership of the building we contracted a local architect to begin a comprehensive redesign of the building.
Through some basic reconfiguration of the auditorium (removal of old benches, placing the Scoop table in the lobby, etc.) we were able to create additional seating capacity which allowed us to accommodate the influx of adults who attended Journey Church during the Christmas season.
The reconfiguration in December allowed us to return to three Sunday services in the New Year. This allowed for more consistency in regards to attendance as well as adjusted the overall demand on both superheros (volunteers) and staff.
In planning and designing for a remodel it was determined that the 60 plus year old plumbing was in worse shape then previously thought. The focus of the first phase of the remodel quickly shifted to taking care of the bathrooms, which would have to be done anyway if we ever looked to add capacity to the auditorium.
With continued growth of the Church we opted to purchase new chairs for the auditorium. With the purchase of the new chairs we were able to increase the seating capacity in the auditorium by approximately 30 seats.
It was in May that we were able to remove the sound booth and coffee bar in the auditorium which allowed up to add another 30 seats on a Sunday. This brought our seating capacity in the auditorium to approximately 350 chairs. We also constructed a new coffee area in the lobby.
With the reconfiguration of the auditorium and summer rapidly approaching we were able to engineer and finalize a plan to replace the 27 year old HVAC roof top unit that provided the air conditioning and heat to the auditorium.
The new HVAC root top unit was installed just in time to provide much need air conditioning in the auditorium. The greatest impact from this new unit was noticed by the folks who attend our PM service. The cost for all the work for this new HVAC unit was approximately $40,000. We used some of the residual funds that were raised to purchase the building to pay for this project.
With the HVAC roof top unit installed, we were able to submit for permits for the bathroom and lobby repair/remodel. We also were able to narrow down the list of general contractors who were going to bid on this phase of our repair/remodel.
The City of Bend approved our permits for the bathroom repair/remodel. Another notable things from September was that Pastor Keith turned 41.
While the design review and permit process was underway, we also solicited bids from three local general contractors. Bids were due back to us in October which would also us time to review and select a general contractor to oversee phase 1. Sunwest Builders was the lowest acceptable bid, however, the bid for the work proved to be a bit more then we had previously thought it would be.
The Chinese and Sushi Bar that leases approximately 4,500 SF of our building expressed an interest in relocating to a similar property along the Deschutes River. At this time the Journey Elders decided it would be best to postpone the bathroom repair/remodel until we knew more about this possibility. Since the upstairs bathrooms are shared, it was determined that if they were going to relocate that it would be best to wait on our project until they vacated the property.
Right before Christmas we heard back from Chi that they had withdrawn their Letter of Intent for the other location and for the foreseeable future would remain a tenant in our building.
As we looked to restart the bathroom repair/remodel project, it was decided by the Journey Elders that we needed to shift our focus and look to refinance the building. This decision was made based on several factors including to projected continual increase in interest rates, the amount of cash needed for a refinance and the desire for future projects to maximize our space to accommodate our growing church.
Pastor Keith presented to the church at a Family Gathering much of the above information and kicked off our current giving campaign called 2020 VISION. The goal is to raise $1,000,000 by May 2019. Funds raised will help ensure we have enough cash in the bank to show prospective lenders that we are healthy financially. Some of these funds may be needed to secure a refinance since our initial loan only required a 15% down payment. Once the refinance has been completed we will need approximately $500,000 to complete the bathroom repair/remodel. Additional funds raised will be used to both support the launch of a Redmond Church as well as be used for future projects at our Bend location.
God is sovereign (in control)! We have fallen short of our $1,000,000 by May goal which has created an opportunity to reevaluate our timeline for the 2020 Vision. We still intend to Refinance, Remodel and start a Journey Church in Redmond, however, the timeline for the Refinance and Remodel will be extended out until we have sufficient resources to take on these two elements of the 2020 Vision. Journey Church in Redmond is still all systems go and we look forward to launching in February 2020.