You might be thinking, “How can I buy me some prime Greenway Plaza real estate from the city for, say $12.50 a square foot?” If, as expected, city council approves the sale in tomorrow’s meeting, that’s the amount Lakewood Church will pay for the Southwest Freeway building it’s currently leasing.
Lakewood took out a 30-year lease on the property — which formerly served as home court for the Houston Rockets, first as the Houston Summit, and later as the Compaq Center — in 2001. Lakewood prepaid the entire $11.8 million lease amount, then spent more than $80 million to turn the former basketball arena into a proper TV-worthy megachurch. But the key to Lakewood’s current real estate good fortune is the lease extension it negotiated: an option to extend the lease for an additional 30 years for $22.6 million.
Since the city likely won’t receive any income (or tax revenue) from the property until the year 2061, city real estate managers think selling the 606,000-sq.-ft. property on more than 7 acres at 3700 Southwest Fwy. to the church is a good idea. The price? A value only net-present-value adherents, real-estate appraisers, and the Lakewood faithful could love: $7.5 million.
Feeling a little inspired by the church’s ability to swing such a deal? It is yet another testament to the remarkable real-estate skills of Houston’s leading property-investment guru, Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen. In this passage from his latest book, It’s Your Time, Osteen virtually screams, “GET IN FIRST, BUY LATER”:
There is a place God has designed where opportunities find you, a place where His blessings overtake you.
God created places before He created people.
God created the oceans, and then He created fish and other marine life to swim in His waters. He created land, and then He populated the planet with man and animals.
Location, location, location is not just a Realtor’s slogan. God has always been careful about matching His creatures to the places where they will flourish. He didn’t put polar bears in the Mojave Desert. He didn’t place sharks and sea rays in the Rocky Mountains.
In the same way, God has a particular place for each one of us, a place where each of us will find our highest purpose, where we will thrive and reflect God’s greatness. . . .
Your location is extremely important. God will not bless you just anywhere. He will bless you when you are where you’re supposed to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I encourage you to find that place. Don’t settle for anything less than the best God has to give you.
You can tell your place of blessing by how it feels to you. Your senses and your spirit will tell you: This is where I am supposed to be.
- One of Houston’s most famous buildings up for sale [abc13]
- Lakewood to buy former Compaq Center [Houston Chronicle]
- It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor [Amazon]
- Previously on Swamplot: Your Best Deal Now: Will Lakewood Buy Its Own Church?, Joel Osteen on Real Estate: Enlarge Your House by Enlarging Your Vision, Joel Osteen Townhome Sales Technique: Give and Ye Shall Receive Full Asking Price, Joel Osteen, Deed Restrictions, and the House Flip from Heaven