GraceWorks Ministries needs a new home by June of 2023.
In early 2021, the building GraceWorks Ministries occupies at 104 Southeast Parkway as a tenant for nearly 20 years sold to FlexMet, a company that moved from California. FlexMet’s purpose is “to make great products for out customers that create value and improve people’s lives.”
“I saw a rare opportunity to own warehouse space in Franklin, Tennessee and jumped at the chance to find a new location for my growing business,” said FlexMet owner Joe Bean. “Coming from California, I did not know GraceWorks or any of the other tenants at the time I purchased the building, but I have grown to respect the amazing outreach of this nonprofit,” Bean said.
When the building was purchased, GraceWorks was notified they could stay through June 2023. However, GraceWorks was told they would not have the right to renew or extend their lease in 2023, as they have been able to do in the past.
“Joe Bean has been gracious to honor our existing lease and is willing to work with us to the best of his ability,” said Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO of GraceWorks. But we understand he bought the building for his business and his business is growing! So, GraceWorks needs to find a new home.”
Even before receiving the news of the impending lease expiration, Breckenridge was aware that GraceWorks needed more space. GraceWorks’ current leased space in Joe Bean’s building is a little over 25,000 square feet. This holds their resource service center, thrift store, food pantry, warehouse space, processing area, conference room and offices. In 2015, part of the staff moved into a building across the parking lot owned by the city of Franklin for more office space. Currently, every inch of both buildings is completely occupied. The warehouse uses aisles and floor space to store product, the food pantry is about one-third the size needed to help the 11,000 Neighbors it serves a year.
In early 2020 GraceWorks began a feasibility study process with Lighthouse Counsel to determine whether or not GraceWorks could launch a successful capital campaign for a new home. That study was put on pause during the onset of COVID when GraceWorks was serving a 300% increase in requests.
The feasibility study concluded in March 2021. Lighthouse Counsel believed, that while community support for GraceWorks is strong, GraceWorks could not raise the funds and build a new home by summer 2023.
GraceWorks’ ideal building would be 80,000 square feet which would allow ample room for Neighbor Services, the Food Pantry, Operations, offices, warehouse storage and shared community conference. A building that size was estimated to cost around $14 million at the time.
GraceWorks is asking the community to help them find a new home.
“I believe we are in the middle of a Bible story, Breckenridge said. In this competitive market, it seems impossible to find a new home for with such varied spatial needs to accommodate all we do and all the ways we serve, but just as He has done before, God will part the sea!
“My dream is for someone to donate or discount land or a building that we can call our permanent home. While we are actively chasing that dream, we are also looking for property owners who would temporarily lease us a 40,000 foot space with docks and adequate parking for the 400 visitors we have a day, by or before the summer of 2023,” she said.
“If GraceWorks were shut down even for a week, the community would hurt,” said GraceWorks’ Board Chair Sarah Pierce. “Just last year, GraceWorks helped over 11,000 local Neighbors stay in their homes, keep utilities on, and have food. GraceWorks helps stabilize families in crisis and now we are asking you, the community, to help GraceWorks stabilize its future.”
One neighbor, Mary, was helped with rent assistance and a shopping cart of food. She expressed her gratitude in a letter.
“I just want to say how much GraceWorks has blessed me in a difficult season of my life. The generosity, spirituality and kindness I’ve received there, as well as the practical provisions, have eased the difficulty of my journey considerably, making me feel less alone and treated with respect.”
The GraceWorks Board has commissioned a Search Committee with a twofold goal: first, to help GraceWorks find a place to rent in 2023 and second, to help find a forever home for GraceWorks.
GraceWorks asks the community to join in prayer for their new home and please share any leads on rental property, gifted property, or property for sale to GraceWorks CEO Valencia A. Breckenridge at Valencia@GraceWorksMinistries.net or call 615.794.9055 x138