Is it time to move your church to a larger space or a new campus? As you sharpen your vision for this important project, you might come across a former retail box building for sale. You know the type, an old grocery store, a Wal-Mart, or some other box store that’s run its course in your community and is now up for sale. These buildings may appear intimidating, but they are definitely worth a second look. They could easily answer your prayers when it comes to a new church building.

Blank Slates for Less Work, Less Money

From a layout standpoint, both inside and out, box buildings can be a dream come true for a church. Outside, they are highly visible from the road with lots of parking. And chances are your church members, along with the rest of your community, are used to driving there already, so there’s even a free PR boost for your new church building. Inside, these buildings are an open space which is easy to design your floor plan in, usually with few structural columns that can be designed around. They’re mostly blank slates, ready for the warming touches that will make your church building come to life with the word of the Lord.  If you purchase this existing land and structure for the right price, your total project can cost a lot less than building completely new and the turnaround time can be much quicker.

Get an Expert Opinion

While it may be a fantastic find, always get a professional to evaluate the building before you buy. Only a professional can appraise the quality of the existing building’s systems, such as HVAC, roofing, and electrical. Other things to think about include adding additional restrooms if needed as well as a large electric system to accommodate sound and lighting systems. You should also give the location a bit of extra consideration. While many in your community likely know where the new church building is, these big box stores can often be outside of residential neighborhoods, making the location feel separated from the community and outreach more difficult. It might also be challenging to get to for any church members without cars. Another possible downside to consider would be any limitations of the existing footprint.  A limited footprint could make it difficult to expand in the future. But overall, empty big box stores are often great choices for new church buildings and can provide years of service before the time comes for your next church remodel.

The McKnight Group is the Only Expert You Need

The McKnight Group’s Design/Build team can help you at every stage of considering or remodeling a big box store or building new. We can evaluate the building you’re considering, and come up with an accurate budget and plan for the necessary work to turn it into a place of worship and community for your church body. Sign up for one of our free i3 webinars for more information, and to get your church remodel started on the right path.