|LifeWay considers selling Nashville property|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Thursday, 14 August 2014 02:57 PM EDT|
LifeWay Christian Resources is considering selling all or part of its downtown Nashville campus. Real-estate developers and others have shown an interest in LifeWay’s 14.5-acre property, according to an Aug. 1 letter to employees from Thom Rainer, company president and CEO.
In the letter, Rainer said he asks Jerry Rhyne, LifeWay CFO and vice president of finance and business, and his staff to “work with a specialized consulting firm to study the advantages and disadvantages of selling some or all of our property.”
However, Rainer points out that he has “strong desire” for LifeWay’s corporate offices to remain in downtown Nashville.
“We’ve been downtown, in one location or another, for more than 120 years,” he said in the letter. “I believe our employees and those who visit our offices enjoy the convenience and excitement of being in the middle of one of the nation’s ‘it’ cities.”
Rainer noted LifeWay has invested significantly in the Nashville property.
“Most of us who work here chose the location of our home, at least in part, because of its proximity to 1 LifeWay Plaza,” he said in the letter. “We even have our own street!”
But changes in the industry have led LifeWay to study the matter, noting that some space is not used as it once was and that there are “hundreds of vacant office spaces on our campus.”
There are also “more employees outside Nashville than at the corporate offices,” so the company’s needs have changed. Rainer observed that it would be “poor stewardship for us not to explore the possibilities” because of the real-estate demand.
He went on to assure the employees that “absolutely no decisions have been made other than our commitment to use all the resources the Lord has provided us to make the maximum impact on churches and the kingdom, now and in the future.”
The study is expected to take at least several months, and any decision will be made by the board of trustees. Rainer stated in the letter that if a move is approved, “it would likely take at least a couple of years or more to implement.”
LifeWay Christian Resources, which includes LifeWay Christian Stores, has 4,300 employees nationwide with 1,100 working at the Nashville campus.