Sale of District Office at Box Hill has been agreed
A journey that commenced five years ago has reached another exciting milestone.
In late-2017 due to concerns about the ageing Office building the joint District Property Working Group recommended that District Office be relocated to a building with up-to-date safety requirements and more street and on-site parking available.
Several options including to buy an existing building a little further out, construct a building, possibly build on ‘spare’ school land, or to co-locate with St Paul’s Box Hill at their proposed new Box Hill South development were considered. In mid-2018 the Working Group recommended to proceed with co-location with St Paul’s at Box Hill South. District Office will lease office space from St Paul’s.
The Working Group also resolved the stewardship dilemma of how to preserve capital value and growth of District Office funds from property sale, so in future decades the District would still have an option to have own its own building if required. This will be achieved through investing in a range of Managed Funds via Mercer (who handle Lutheran Super investments). The Strategy was affirmed by Lutheran Actuary Alan Truslove.
We are committed to co-location and partnering between LCAVD and LEVNT with St Paul’s at Box Hill South and now also the Chinese Lutheran Church of Victoria.
The plan also makes available $500,000 for Mission and Ministry (into the New, Renewing & Changing Churches Fund).
The plan for District to co-locate at the new Box Hill South building has now been discussed at two Conventions of Synod – Feb 2019 and May 2021.
There are good stewardship reasons why it makes sense and is efficient and effective to co-locate with St Paul’s at Box Hill South – access to sufficient meeting spaces and carparks are two physical benefits, and there is also the opportunity to make a strong Lutheran presence in the Eastern suburbs. The Partnership (clarified in a Memorandum Of Understanding in mid-2019) means we will share some office space, facilities and meeting spaces. St Pauls have committed significant capital funds to this partnership to construct the new office buildings as a means of contributing to the mission and ministry of the District.
Due to an unsolicited offer initially in December 2020 a little above sworn market valuation (as at June 2021) for District Office at 755 Station Street Box Hill, we now have an agreed and finally signed contract with a medical specialist to purchase the building. Settlement is in mid-2024.
This means we don’t have to be concerned about any possible economic downturn or fluctuating commercial property values due to the glut of new and established office space generally, and particularly in areas such as Box Hill, along with Docklands and the Melbourne CBD.
Thanks to the Property Working Group, LEVNT and LCAVD and St Paul’s representatives for helping to get this far, and for clarifying the best ways to demonstrate practical stewardship.
We pray God blesses the next phase of the project and all the partnerships.