Summit Church sells land near RTP to real estate trust

Jul. 10, 2014 @ 06:20 PM

The Summit Church, a Southern Baptist church that draws thousands to weekly services at a network of campuses in the Triangle, sold 36 acres off T.W. Alexander Drive last week to a real estate investment trust.

The church sold the property for $4 million to Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust, which plans to develop an industrial park on the site called Liberty Ridge. The proposed industrial park will include 462,000 square feet of multi-tenant industrial buildings.

“We are excited to expand our presence in the Triangle,” Massie Flippin, vice president and city manager for Liberty’s Carolinas region, said in a statement. She said that the new industrial buildings will increase the company’s real estate portfolio in the Triangle.

Liberty Property, which is publicly traded under the ticker symbol LPT, is an $8.8 billion trust that owned 101 million square feet of industrial and office space throughout the United States and the United Kingdom as of March 31.

It owns five industrial buildings at Keystone Business Park totaling 664,000 square feet and five industrial buildings at Imperial Center totaling 705,365 square feet. Upon Liberty Ridge’s completion, the company’s footprint in the Triangle will total more than 1.831 million square feet of space.

The Summit Church has owned the T.W. Alexander Drive property since 2006. The church bought the land for nearly $4.05 million from a limited liability company connected to Florida-based Avanti Properties Group.

Katie Persinger, Summit’s communications director, said in an email that the church bought the property with plans to build a church there. But in the interim, the church bought a nearby facility on Presidential Drive off of T.W. Alexander and Miami Boulevard. The Presidential Drive location is one of eight campuses for the church.