Last month the Saint Nicholas Family completed a decades-long process of purchasing the property of 606 S. College Road (affectionately known as “the Back Building”). Beginning in May of 2018, at our Special General Assembly Meeting, this endeavor officially took form when a vast majority of the 57 voting members in attendance (55 in favor) voted to authorize the Parish Council to purchase the GLOW building behind our church. The motion that was passed and set the stage for negotiations to begin with the seller, Mr. Craig, for up to $1 million.
During the nearly two ensuing years of negotiating, the Parish Council ran into many “road blocks” in attempts to attain the property, always operating with the Church’s best interests in mind. However, the persistence paid off, and eventually the Parish Council Officers were able to work the seller down from his asking price of $1.2 million to the approved amount of $1 million. Once we received the final blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios, we entered into an official contract to purchase the building on March 6, 2020.
During the due diligence process the parish council obtained several loan estimates from local financial institutions, with the most favorable being that of our longtime bank, First Citizen’s. The bank then ordered the ensuing appraisal which estimated its value at $950,000. Additionally the Parish Council had completed a thorough inspection of the property and found that it was in remarkably good shape with the exception of a few HVAC units that needed repairs
We presented our findings to the seller, and after many back-and-forth exchanges through our lawyers, we were able to attain a final price of $980,000.
The Parish Council held several conference calls throughout this process, and even convened a special session where these final terms of the contract were discussed. Ultimately it was unanimously agreed that it was in the best interest for the parish to continue with the purchase of the building. The council members considered all of the information and even the potential unknown factors revolving around the current Coronavirus. In the end, the Parish Council felt confident in carrying out the will of our faithful as moved in the 2018 General Assembly, and did not want to risk missing this incredible opportunity for growth for the Church.
So with great pride and tremendous thanksgiving, the Parish Council Officers along with Fr. Steven gathered to review and sign the final documents on May 12, 2020 (pictured above). The following morning the documents were delivered to the courts and the ownership of the “Back Building” was officially transferred over to Saint Nicholas!
Since then, the council has been hard at work developing and executing the financial plans to pay for and develop the building for the Church’s needs. The intent is to secure a tenant for the front 5000 square footage of the building with minimal cosmetic updates. This would bring in approximately $5,000 per month to offset the loan payment, and still allow us to refurbish and make use of the gym and activity space in the back portion. After an extensive interview process with several commercial realtors, the council decided on signing with Cape Fear Commercial who is able to present the Church with an impressive package that was difficult to match by the other candidates. It is the goal of the Parish Council to pair the rental income with proceeds from the annual Greek Festival and generous contributions from our faithful as part of our upcoming Capital Campaign to aggressively pay off the remaining balance of the loan with First Citizen’s (well before its maturity date in seven years).
This is a huge step towards a bright future for our Saint Nicholas Church Family, but it is only ONE step. While this is cause for celebration, it is also a call to attention. This acquisition will benefit the entire parish, and as such, we will be counting on the support of ALL the faithful. Your contributions, no matter how big or small, will certainly make a difference, and will be equally appreciated. May God bless our Saint Nicholas Family in this new and exciting era in our proud history!
Saint Nicholas to Launch a Capital Campaign:
When our Lord rose from the dead, He did not greet the Disciples by saying “well done, your job is finished.” In fact the opposite is true. Rather than give them rest, Christ instructs His Disciples to get to work. He tells His Disciples that “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:47). The same can be said about our recent victory in purchasing the “Back Building” property.
This is an incredible moment for our parish, but we will only realize our potential if our faithful work to support it. Our committee members Daphne Snow, Dino Psilos, and Tina Bostic are working in developing a campaign strategy to help engage our faithful in this endeavor. The committee is confident that our Saint Nicholas Family will answer the call and that we will be able to aggressively pay down the remaining balance on the mortgage, and help fund our future campus expansion and renovation projects. The Church has already roughly funded the first quarter of the balance executing the contract. Ideally, the working target is that annual Greek Festival proceeds can cover up to half of the remaining balance, and the final quarter (or more) could be supplied by financial contributions from our faithful.
Be on the lookout for ways your family can support our future growth with updates coming soon from this Capital Campaign Committee. For ways to give please contact Parish Council Treasurer Tina Bostic.
Growth & Planning Committee Is Formed:
The purchase of the Back Building is undoubtedly a landmark occasion for our Saint Nicholas Family. This process began back in 1979, and we are so thrilled to finally be in a position to realize it now. It is our firm belief that the acquisition of this property will position us for a season of growth and a new chapter of ministry for our faithful.
In light of this anticipated growth, the Parish Council has formed a special Growth & Planning Committee with the expressed purpose of assisting them in creating the vision and plan for the future of our parish. Chaired by Parish Council Vice President Lee King, the mission of the “Growth & Planning” Committee is to assess where we are as a parish, and to identify where we want to be in the future (both short-term and long-term).
The committee held its first preliminary virtual meeting on Thursday, May 28 via Zoom (pictured below) and are already hard at work for you the faithful. It is important to understand that the primary function of this committee is to understand the needs and hopes of our faithful. Be aware that you may be contacted very soon by a committee member. Please be ready and willing to give your input. This Committee works for you!
Members: Lee King (Chair), Koula Katsikis,Caleb Kratsa, Paul Loukas, Courtney Malahias, Jack Poulos, Rena Poulson, Daphne Snow, and Jimmie Stasios.
Ex-Officio Members: Mayor Bill Saffo, Dr. Spiro Macris and Dr. Michael Rallis