November 11, 2021

Lifeway Christian Resources downtown Nashville headquarters sells for $95 million

Lifeway Christian Resources has sold its downtown Nashville headquarters for $95 million, the company announced Friday.

The company will continue to occupy part of the building until it determines a location for its new workspace, which will serve more as a collaboration space for employees who do the majority of their work remotely, according to a news release.

The sale and transition to embracing remote work is a “highly strategic decision for Lifeway’s future,” Lifeway CEO Ben Mandrell stated in the release.

“We are moving away from the idea of a ‘headquarters’ to a fully mobile and agile workforce that intentionally gathers to build strong relationships, celebrate what God is doing and share ideas,” Mandrell stated.

Nashville-based Rubicon Equities and San Francisco-based Meritage Group LP now own the nine-story building in Nashville’s Capitol View neighborhood.

The sale has been in the works since 2019, after the nonprofit publisher determined through a study that Lifeway was occupying only 60% of the building on a daily basis. Lifeway publicly announced its plans to sell the building in January.

The company performed a feasibility study of its office in April, exploring options including leasing several floors to external occupants, selling the building and leasing back office space or moving to another location.

The company had a “robust remote work culture,” but Nashville-based employees’ pandemic-driven full transition to remote work in March 2020 emphasized the need for a change, Mandrell stated.

The company is shaping a new work environment based on feedback from employees. In Lifeway’s new work model, employees will work remotely the majority of the time, coming into the building for meetings, brainstorming sessions and team building. The office space will include conference rooms, “casual meeting spaces” and “drop-in” workstations, according to the release.

“Our employees have been highly productive in this new hybrid work environment, and they’ve told us they enjoy the flexibility working anywhere provides,” Mandrell stated.

The company has had a presence in downtown Nashville for more than 125 years, starting in a pastor’s study at Nashville’s First Baptist Church in 1891.

Lifeway moved to the 227,000-square-foot building on 2.7 acres of land in Capitol View in November 2017 after leaving its longtime headquarters in the 12-story Draper Tower. The company received $3.5 million in incentives approved by then-Mayor Began Barry’s administration and the Metro Council to keep Lifeway’s headquarters downtown.

Lifeway sold its nearly 15-acre downtown campus, including Draper Tower, to San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners in 2015 for $125 million. The Draper Tower was demolished in 2018, making way for the $1 billion Nashville Yards development.

Originally published by The Tennessean