The Georgia Baptist Mission Board has sold a five-story office building and adjacent property in Duluth to a hotel developer for $23.5 million, bringing an end to a years-long search for a buyer.
“We are grateful to the Lord and to all those who worked so hard to make this happen,” said W. Thomas Hammond Jr, GBMB executive director. “The proceeds from the sale of this property will be used to expand the kingdom and continue to grow Georgia Baptist missions and ministries.”
The buyer, JMS Family Companies of Duluth, plans to convert the office building into a high-end boutique hotel that provides more personalized services than traditional hotels.
Larger than needed for staff
The Georgia Baptist Executive Committee had begun discussions on the need to sell the 40-acre Sugarloaf Parkway property more than a decade ago because the building was much larger than needed for the staff.
Selling the building was also seen as a means to cut utility, maintenance and operational costs, allowing more funding to go to missions and ministry.
David Melber, GBMB chief operating officer, had spent nearly four years working with real estate brokers and attorneys on what proved to be a difficult sale.
“JMS Family Companies was the fourth group we had been under contract with,” Melber said. “The other three had to back away due to the numerous constraining factors to redevelop the property. At one point, it seemed unlikely that we would be able to sell the property due to all the limitations on redevelopment.”
Plan to repurpose building
Melber said JMS was the first developer with a plan to repurpose the office building rather than demolish it to make space for other facilities.
“This entire process proved to be an exercise in our faith in the Lord to yield to His timing and His plans,” he said. “I believe without question God brought this buyer with their specific plans at this specific time that would allow the sale to be completed. God orchestrated all the details to come together without question.”
The GBMB staff had moved out of the building in December 2022, relocating to temporary space at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula pending the sale of the building.
“We will immediately begin looking for a new administration building that will be able to handle the daily work of the GBMB staff,” Hammond said. “I want to say a special word of appreciation to David Melber and his team for the countless hours they spent making this closing possible. I also want to express my gratitude for the leadership of the administration committee and executive committee. Their commitment to move forward has been critical throughout the entire process. This has been a team effort from the start.”