Category Archives: Insight

Broker, Frank Yocum, Recognized as “Best of Maryland Heights”

On August 14, 2019, Hilliker Broker, Frank Yocum, was recognized as one of the “Best of Maryland Heights” by the Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce.

With years of commitment to the community, Frank Yocum is currently helping 5 businesses find and negotiate optimal locations in Maryland Heights, while also volunteering to build the community through dedicated volunteer work with:

  • The Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce
  • The Taste of Maryland Heights
  • The Maryland Heights Development Committee
  • The Maryland Heights Business Expo
  • The American Legion Post 213
  • CHAMP Assistance Dogs
  • Leftovers, Etc.

Congratulations, Frank on your well-deserved recognition!

St. Louis entrepreneur uses business as springboard into investment, then retirement

Multifamily Investment Property in St. Louis’s Metro East

Dan Lester is living the American dream.

Having begun his career as a mechanic, Lester opened Lesco Enterprises, a pre-owned car dealership and auto repair shop, in 1987. As Lesco grew, Lester was eventually able to stop leasing from someone else. He purchased property for the business in Cool Springs, MO, near West Florissant and I-70.

In 2009, he continued to diversify. He learned about a nearly 12,000 square foot multifamily investment property for sale at 1901 State Street in Granite City, IL.

The building was booked solid with tenants, promising an immediate source of income on day one. The bottom floor was ideal for a new business idea he had — a showroom for selling used appliances. Positioned in the business district and close to a bus stop, the location was right. He purchased the building as an investment for the future.

With Lester as landlord, tenants enjoyed a full-service lease, and Lester determined not to raise the price as long as he was the owner.

Though Granite City went through tough economic times (the city’s top employer, US Steel, had stopped production in 2015), the building stayed leased. For Lester, it served as a reliable investment for many years.

A Set-Back Turned into an Opportunity

Unfortunately, in 2016, the building suffered from a fire. Though no tenants were hurt, the building was devastated. It needed a complete overhaul if the tenants were going to move back in.

Though it was not an ideal situation, Lester decided to turn it around to improve his property’s value and his tenant’s experience.

He took the insurance payout to remodel the building, inside and out.

  • He updated the roof.
  • Had the exterior professionally tuckpointed.
  • Painted the interior and exterior.
  • Installed brand new carpet.
  • Updated the bathrooms with modern sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.

Additionally, he covered up the cinder block walls, framed in the apartments, and put in drywall. The building became more beautiful, matching a steadily redeveloping downtown area.

Making a Dream Come True

By 2017, Lester was ready to cash out and transition into retirement. Lester had a specific goal. He wanted to move to Thailand.

Having spent vacations there many times, he had fallen in love with the culture, people, and way of life. He wanted to find a way to spend the rest of his years in the South Pacific.

John H. ShepleyHe sold the auto repair shop and pre-owned car dealership. Then, he contacted Jake Shepley of Hilliker Corporation, who listed 1901 Granite City for sale. Together, they went to work looking for a buyer.

It wasn’t easy at first. Granite City real estate was moving slowly, and investors were looking for a high capitalization rate of return (cap rate). Shepley and Lester had to price strategically if they were going to attract an investor.

For the first year, they didn’t see any serious buyers. However, the city had a boost when its primary employer, US Steel, restarted production. Bringing back 800 workers in 2018, Granite City became a more attractive place for investors.

Soon, they heard from Kelvin Lai of Eugene Investments. Based in Atlanta, Lai has several holdings in the St. Louis area. He sent his local property manager and appraiser to tour the building several times.

They were impressed by Lester’s recent renovation, the quality tenants, and the town’s rising employment numbers.

Lesco, represented by Jake Shepley, sold 1901 State Street in Granite City, IL to Eugene Investments. Combined with the proceeds from the sale of his business, Lester is making plans to move to Thailand this year.

Where Are You in Your Commercial Real Estate Lifecycle?

Hilliker’s brokers are here to guide their clients into profitable decisions wherever they happen to be in their Real Estate Lifecycle.

  • STARTUP — Are you looking to make your first lease or purchase? We’ll help you make quality decisions that will work well for your current needs. We take the long view, however, and look to set you up for success.
  • GROWTH & MATURITY — As business owners tire of paying rent, they often want to buy their own building. We help business owners purchase commercial property. Then, we set them up for success through our tenant acquisition, lease negotiation, and property management services.
  • EXIT — Is it time for you to cash out? Or roll your current real estate into a hands-off investment? Hilliker, in partnership with our Westwood Lease Advisors, offers services to help people just like you make your transition into retirement.

Wherever you are in your Business Lifecycle, we want to help. Give us a call today.

Insulite Glass Finds Custom Industrial Warehouse for Sale

A Growing Enterprise

When Shannon Waterman was hired to manage the St. Louis branch of Insulite Glass Company in 2004, he found himself at the leading edge of flat glass fabrication.

Founded by Beau Guyette in Olathe, Kansas, the company manufactures insulated glass for buildings ranging from single-family homes to skyscrapers. They ship the glass throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma.

In 2000, Guyette became an early-adopter of an automated manufacturing process. It catapulted Insulite’s growth, leading them to add to their staff and open the St. Louis location.

After several successful years leasing their current space in Soulard, when Waterman called to renew their lease in early 2019, he received some challenging news.

The anchor tenant was planning to expand, and Insulite had five months to move out.

Industrial Warehouse for Sale or Lease—Searching St. Louis

Insulite’s custom process and equipment required them to find a very specific kind of building.

First, workers move glass through their warehouse using a crane with an 18-foot hook height. The crane swings through the building, requiring open space both vertically and horizontally. Unfortunately, most warehouses are constructed with numerous supporting poles that wouldn’t allow for such a crane.

The building also needed garage doors at street level so trucks could drive directly into the warehouse space. Dock-height doors were out of the question as the glass needs to be placed directly onto the truck from above.

Though ramps could be installed, they increased the likelihood of breakage. And if the glass happens to break during this sensitive process, the St. Louis branch doesn’t have the resources to recut it. They would have to wait for another shipment from headquarters in Olathe.

A. William AschingerGuyette and Waterman had moved the branch twice before, each time having relied on the expertise of Will Aschinger at Hilliker Corporation. They called on Aschinger again.

Since Aschinger already knew the particularities of their business, they were confident he could help match them to a new space.

As the team went looking for properties, Waterman asked his staff if they would be willing to move to a new part of the St. Louis area. He was relieved to find out they were. With their needs in mind, Aschinger and Waterman began touring properties in Soulard, Hanley Industrial, Fenton, Arnold, and even Hillsboro.

After viewing approximately 30 properties, Waterman finally stopped to notice a new industrial warehouse under construction near his home. Located in Pacific and under development by Joe Bosse of NEC Commercial, he wondered if the new building would be available for lease.

Going from Leasing “Paying Yourself Rent”

Aschinger was on the case. He discovered the building at 509 Route 66 Business Parkway would be 20,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. It sits on more than an acre of land, leaving room to grow. It has an open warehouse and can accommodate street-level garage doors.

Not only that, it was still under construction when they discovered it. The building could be customized to the new occupant’s specifications—even allowing for the installation of a crane before exterior walls were completed.

It was perfect for Insulite.

The building was listed “For Lease or Sale,” and Guyette decided to put in an offer on the property. Though leasing had worked well in the past, Guyette wanted to build equity and obtain control of their real estate.

Aschinger negotiated a deal that would permit Insulite to move their operation in on closing day, allowing them to keep production up and revenue flowing.

Waterman doesn’t anticipate losing any staff members, and they’re ready to add positions as well. They believe the area around Pacific will provide them with the talent pool needed to bring them into the future.

Insulite Glass, represented by Will Aschinger, purchased 509 Route 66 Business Parkway for $1,202,000.

Real Estate Consultation for Every Business

Do you have a unique service or product? A process or equipment that requires a customized building? Employees or customers that need you to stay in a specific geographic location?

Hilliker brokers are attuned to your needs, working to find a “solve” for whatever problem you face. They know the St. Louis area and know how to match your needs to available properties.

If you’re ready to find commercial real estate for your unique business, call us to find out how we can help get you the space you need.

St. Louis success story, Pic the Gift, expands with new multi-purpose space lease

Entrepreneur Finds Success in St. Louis

Wes Pickering founded Pic the Gift, LLC, in 2012, believing there was a growing desire in the marketplace for on-demand printing.

Here’s how it works: Pic the Gift allows customers to choose from a variety of printable products through an online design portal. Their customers, both individuals and corporations, customize the item’s look. They can select its color or a pre-created pattern, then add logos and photos.

Some of their printables are relatively small (mouse pads, holiday ornaments, and no-show socks). But some are comparatively large (lounge chair covers, shower curtains, blankets, and beach towels).

They also print on a wide variety of surfaces: cloth, glass, stainless steel, and ceramics, among others. The production process requires a range of large printers able to handle any scale and media.

Since they’re in the center of the country, Pic the Gift can ship to anywhere in the US in fewer than four days. Their market niche, location, and excellent service have made them an in-demand vendor for potential buyers throughout the country.

About the company’s growth, Pickering says, “We’ve been busting at the seams for eight months, growing much more quickly than we projected.” He needed a short-term solution to handle his inventory while he looked for a larger space for his business.

Commercial Industrial Warehouse Space in Overland, MO

The staff at Pic the Gift was only twenty people in July of 2017. By the beginning of June 2018, they had grown to fifty, and expect to bring on another thirty to forty employees over the next six months.

At the time, they were leasing two spaces totaling 15,000 square feet, much of it occupied by large production equipment of various kinds. They were dependent on their properties because their equipment requires more electrical service than most buildings can handle: 1,200 amps and 480-volt power.

Lacking the space to continue to grow his staff, Pickering had to turn down projects the business didn’t have the resources to handle. He didn’t want to have to do that again. For him, the growth has meant “a fun ride, but it certainly is challenging.”

It was near the end of 2018 when Pic the Gift realized it had an immediate need, which was to find space to store seasonal holiday inventory. They already had leased auxiliary warehouse space, but it had filled up much more quickly than he had expected.

After looking at approximately twenty separate buildings, he got a tip from a friend.

Picking Space with Help from Hilliker

Jeffrey J. AltvaterThe friend, who leases a portion of 10838 Ambassador, had seen a 20-year tenant vacate their space in the same building. The friend put Pickering in touch with Jeff Altvater of Hilliker Corporation, who represents the landlords.

Altvater showed Pickering the building. At 30,620 square feet and with 16 feet of ceiling clearance, it was a little larger than Pickering needed at the moment, but that wasn’t a bad thing, given their rate of growth.

When he toured the space, he liked the layout – 15% office, 85% warehouse with five loading docks. Only a half-mile from his current building, it maintained continuity and convenience for his staff, local customers, and vendors.

In fact, it offered everything a business like his needed except for one thing: enough electrical power for his equipment. Regardless, he could envision the building as a long-term office and warehouse for his whole operation.

For their part, the owners of 10838 Ambassador were highly motivated to win over Pic the Gift. They liked the story of the company—that it’s local, growing, and operating a smart and lucrative business model.

They offered to upgrade the bathrooms, as well as the previous tenant’s old fluorescent lights to LED.

But most of all, 10838 Ambassador’s owners were prepared to make a substantial investment in bringing the requisite power to the building. That included bringing in Ameren to put in a new pole and a dedicated transformer. They were also willing to pay to have the trench dug to deliver power to the building.

Pickering said, “This has been an easy, straightforward process and overall good experience. Which is what we needed, because we didn’t have a lot of time to go back and forth. We couldn’t afford to play games.”

Looking Forward to Growth

Most of Pickering’s staff has been able to tour the building. They’ve expressed excitement about the move. He says, “We’re looking forward to stretching out.”

Planning to move in August 2019, Pickering is personally overseeing construction of the new space while his staff prepares for the move and incorporates new technologies.

He’s proud of his workers, saying, “They treat people well. They do a great job.” That, along with an in-demand service and properly proportioned new office and warehouse, is what positions Pic the Gift to keep growing.

Entrepreneurs: Are You Looking for Light Industrial Warehouse Space in the St. Louis area?

When a business starts growing faster than projections, it can feel like “the best of times and the worst of times.” Though the company may be prosperous, it leaves owners with little time to consider how to deal with the sudden influx.

Hilliker Corporation understands this. We’re the entrepreneur’s choice, coming alongside to advise you. We make it our goal to improve your life, making your work more manageable, and your real estate transactions as smooth as possible.

Call us for a consultation today.

Increasing Investment Value - a Testimonial

Hal C. BallA successful client sent in this letter describing Hilliker Senior Vice President, Principal, and all-around great guy Hal Ball. It takes time and energy to send positive feedback, and we appreciate that Mr. Anderson did so!

I am writing to recommend the services of Hal Ball at Hilliker Corporation. While I grew up in Pacific MO, I moved away in the 1960’s. About the same time my father Ralph Anderson built post offices in Pacific and House Springs Missouri. When he passed in 1986 my brother and I inherited these properties and have owned them since.

Last year my brother’s health declined and we decided to sell the buildings. A local business friend who was also affiliated with the SIOR top commercial realtor network recommended we work with Hal. Once I spoke with Hal I knew I had the right guy. Polite and attentive Hal listened to our goals and promptly laid out a plan for success. Rather than a quick cheap sale, Hal worked with the USPS to extend the term of both leases. This increased the value of the properties and Hal was able to sell quickly thereafter to a qualified buyer for a great price.

Hal and Hilliker Corporation have our highest recommendations.

Ralph Anderson Jr.

Dave Spence sells pharma HQ for $12.2M

The North County headquarters of Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging has been sold for $12.2 million.

The buyer was New York-based Royal Oaks Realty Trust, which owns more than 3.6 million square feet of property across 13 states.

The sale, which closed Aug. 14, includes a 15-year leaseback agreement with Legacy, which services the branded, generic, wholesale and major retail pharmaceutical markets. Lease rates in North County average $4.30 per square foot, according to the most recent data from CBRE.

Hal C. BallBig Sky Properties Principal Dave Spence, a one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate who also serves as CEO of Legacy, was represented by Hal Ball of Hilliker Corp. in collaboration with Vince Vatterott and Jason Simon of Westwood Net Lease Advisors. Hilliker had represented Big Sky when it acquired the property in 2013 for $6.5 million.

The sale follows a multimillion-dollar investment from Legacy, which said it spent:

  • $6 million over the past two years adhering to new track and trace rules from U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Over $20 million on equipment and clean rooms since 2014
  • $1.5 million in property improvements since 2013
  • and $350,000 on a locker, bathroom and cafe remodel that wrapped in April.
  • Legacy, founded in 2004, produces over 800,000 units a day, company officials said.

Legacy Pharmaceutical operates in the 189,555-square-foot distribution facility at 13333 Lakefront Drive in unincorporated north St. Louis County. Similar properties nearby have sold for roughly the same price as Legacy’s over the past two years, according to real estate data firm Reonomy.

St. Louis Business Journal

Read the full article HERE.

 

Hilliker Corporation has served St. Louis since 1985, having brokered over 10,000 transactions. As the area’s largest locally-focused commercial real estate broker, we know our region intimately. From new construction to historic properties, we help our entrepreneurial clients become part of a great tradition.

If you’re ready to buy, sell, or lease commercial real estate in the St. Louis area, Hilliker Corporation is poised to help you find the property that suits your unique needs, plans, and dreams.

Schedule an appointment today.

Divest for Success — Here’s When to Sell Your Commercial Real Estate Investment

Scott E. MartinOver my thirty-three years in the commercial real estate business, I’ve helped hundreds make smart property investments. The market is complicated, but with an average rate of return of 10.6%, real estate consistently outperforms the S&P 500 Index (roughly 8%).

That’s good news!

Additionally, investors who partner with savvy advisors tend to make more money. Here at Hilliker, we’ve collected thousands of stories from clients who’ve made their lives—and the lives of others—better through a well-timed real estate deal.

But no property investment makes sense forever. No one wants to hold on too long, missing an opportunity to turn a profit. How do you know if the moment is right to move on?

If you keep your eyes open for these crucial decision points, you’ll be better positioned to make the most out of your investment.

Opportunity # 1 (Owner/Occupiers): You’re Ready to Sell Your Business.

In most cases, we recommend business owners prepare their building for sale at the same time they’re preparing their business for sale. In a business-plus-property package deal, the business owner often loses money on the property. Without competition, they’re unable to negotiate a price at full market value.

Additionally, renting to the property the people who now own your old business is usually not a good idea. Here’s why:

  • Perhaps the new owners will feel unhappy with an aspect of the company you sold them. Because of their unhappiness with the business deal, they could find ways to make your life difficult as their landlord.
  • If the new business owners don’t operate the business you used to own wisely, you may give them too much leeway as their landlord. You may hope to see them turn things around when another landlord would simply terminate their lease.
  • If you structure the lease as part of the sale of the business, you likely won’t get the market rate. Just like the sale of the property, the two should be separate transactions.
  • Because they are unsure if they’ll grow, they rarely sign a longer-term lease. This makes your property less attractive to a potential buyer.

Stay out of this sticky territory! Here’s what we suggest instead.

  1. Make sure a lawyer structures your holdings by filing your business and real estate under separate corporate entities.
  2. Have a qualified real estate broker (like Hilliker) properly value your property and qualify the new owner’s credit-worthiness.
  3. Have your broker negotiate a market-rate long-term lease with the new owners of your business. They’ll be sure to maintain the sort of capitalization rate (cap rate) that will appeal to an outside investor.

Following these steps will put you in a more advantageous position — and keep you out of muddy waters.

Opportunity #2 (Owner/Occupiers) – Your Building No Longer Reflects Your Business

Though it may have been perfect when you first moved in, there are some indicators that you’re in the wrong space for your business.

  1. You’ve outgrown it, but instead of trading up, you’ve decided to lease one or more auxiliary spaces. Though it may make sense in the short-term, it could also add unnecessary complexity as your business continues to grow.
  2. You’ve scaled down operations or staff, and part of your building now sits vacant. Unless bringing in a tenant makes sense, consider selling and purchasing something that better meets your needs.
  3. Your business model doesn’t require heavy foot traffic or visibility, but your neighborhood suddenly turns into a hot retail district. You may be able to make a profit by selling and moving to an area more suited to your business.

 Opportunity #3 (Investors) – You’re at 100% Occupancy

Your broker should make it his or her job to pursue high-quality, credit-worthy tenants for your space. If that person is competent, your tenants will sign win-win leases that make you money and make them want to stay.

Once your building is leased-up, you could sit back and enjoy the moment. But it’s also the moment your property is most attractive to investors and a great time to make money and roll it into an even more lucrative—or “value-add”—investment.

Opportunity #4 – Your Neighborhood’s Economy Is Changing

Economic upturns and downturns signal opportunities to sell, but investors want to find the perfect moment to maximize their profit. Though there is no real-estate crystal ball, there are a few indicators to help you decide.

  • How are traffic patterns? If the road system has changed or there are fewer cars in your neighborhood, your property value may be changing as well. 
  • Is the center of town moving? If there is a new development a few blocks away, threatening to pull traffic from your location, you may want to sell. Property owners with retail tenants should take notice. 
  • Is a significant portion of your building vacant? Though not ideal, this could work in your favor. Businesses in a position to buy may want to move into the empty space and have the added benefit of income from tenants. 
  • Are there substantial investments near you? If you see new developments or rehab projects in your neighborhood, it’s a good sign. If you don’t want to put money into “keeping up,” now may be a good time to sell.

Opportunity #5 (Manager/Owners) – You’re Ready for Retirement

Those who actively manage the buildings they own — apartment buildings and retail strip centers in particular — have more than a full-time job. Between dealing with contractors, collecting rent, making repairs, and keeping space leased, you may be ready for something more manageable.

In that case, you can pass the management to a third-party, or it might be a great time to sell to another investor. Your next investment can be higher-yield and lower maintenance (keep reading for more!).

 Opportunity #6 – Roll Your Profits into a Triple-Net Investment!

When you sell your building, we can help you reinvest in a low-stress triple-net (NNN) investment property. Through our partners at Westwood Net Lease Advisors, you’ll be able to set up a 1031 Exchange, a tax shelter that allows you to defer paying capital gains taxes on your sale.

Then, we can help you find NNN property. NNNs are the easy-button of real estate investments for a couple of reasons.

First, you own the property, but the tenants are 100% responsible for its upkeep.

Second, NNN tenants are often locations of extremely credit-worthy companies. Our clients own NNN properties that house Dollar General, Walgreens, and Buffalo Wild Wings, to name a few.

Is it time to sell your commercial real estate investment?

Though there is no “perfect time,” we at Hilliker Corporation want to be part of your success story. We’re advisors who can help you weigh your options, giving you the tools and information to make quality decisions for you and your future.

We’re poised to help investors and entrepreneurs like you. Give us a call today.

How Hilliker Thrives in the Cutthroat Commercial Real Estate World

The independent, Brentwood-based firm credits a hyperlocal approach with national connections for its success in face of its heavy-hitter competitors.

Ben M. HillikerWhen Ben Hilliker started his real estate firm more than 30 years ago, he could count his competitors on one hand.

Today, Hilliker Corp. is among more than two dozen commercial real estate firms, including corporate heavyweights such as CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and JLL, in the St. Louis metropolitan area vying for listings.

“We haven’t tried to stand out. We’ve simply done what we feel is best for our clients, and in turn, for us,” Hilliker said.

Hilliker, founder and CEO, leads the firm along with President H. Meade Summers III, Senior Vice President and Principal Hal Ball, Vice President and Principal Scott Martin and Vice President and Principal Will Aschinger.

Brentwood-based Hilliker Corp. is not known for multimillion-dollar, blockbuster deals. Though it sells up to 20 properties a month, its deals often stay below the $10 million mark.

But that’s where Hilliker has found a niche that’s kept it successful despite corporate-owned competitors.

Key to its strategy, Hilliker said, is putting the agents’ success before the company, staying out of investment and development to avoid any conflict with clients, and guiding clients through every step, including tasks like rezoning. Hilliker’s agents average more than 15 years of experience in real estate.

In addition, market expansion has been an area of focus. The company has broadened its footprint from doing deals mostly in the city to now reaching into the corners of Jefferson and Franklin counties.

In the past five years, the firm has added five brokers and moved to a bigger office at the Magna Place building on Brentwood Boulevard in 2013.

And in 2011, it hit a milestone with its acquisition of Westwood Net Lease Advisors, which specializes in 1031 tax-exchanges and caters to buyers seeking triple net leases, where tenants are responsible for the property’s expenses.

The deal helped diversify Hilliker. Most of Westwood’s clients are local individual investors, typically in their 60s. Westwood connects its buyer-clients to properties with “recession-proof” tenants such as dialysis centers, dollar stores, fast food and fast-casual restaurants, daycares and even car washes, said Westwood President Chris Schellin.

In 2017, vice presidents Vince Vatterott and Jason Simon closed on a $92.6 million deal for its client to acquire the Dow Chemical headquarters building in Midland, Michigan, marking Westwood’s largest deal ever.

Hilliker often will sell a property for a client who will then use Westwood to reinvest those proceeds into another property.

“We’re giving sellers an avenue to the national marketplace, (and) we’re bringing national players to the St. Louis market,” Schellin said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Several years ago, Hilliker Corp. tapped Westwood to help with long-term client Dave Spence. No longer a majority owner of parent company Alpha Packaging — one of St. Louis’ biggest privately held companies — Spence wanted to sell Alpha Plastics Co.’s facility in Overland.

Together with Vatterott, Hilliker Corp. renegotiated a lease with Alpha to make the property more attractive, and in early 2015 New York City-based Gramercy Property Trust closed on its acquisition of the facility for $10.6 million, according to St. Louis County records.

“We couldn’t have orchestrated that better. And we’ve found more and more situations like that (because of Westwood),” Hilliker Corp.’s Hal Ball said. “We’ve found this in-between zone that’s been exciting for all of us.”

Read the Full Article HereSt. Louis Business Journal

 

Hilliker Corporation has served St. Louis since 1985, having brokered over 10,000 transactions. As the area’s largest locally-focused commercial real estate broker, we know our region intimately. From new construction to historic properties, we help our entrepreneurial clients become part of a great tradition.

If you’re ready to buy, sell, or lease commercial real estate in the St. Louis area, Hilliker Corporation is poised to help you find the property that suits your unique needs, plans, and dreams.

Schedule an appointment today.

Impact Agape Ministries Finds Church Building Home

The Need for a Church Building in St. Louis

Pastor Kenneth “Coach Kenny” Haynes has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years. Two years ago, he founded Impact Agape Ministries, an independent, ethnically-diverse congregation, motivated by practical Biblical teaching mixed with concrete action.

Haynes teaches people how to have a successful life on earth while reaching out to their neighbors. He says, “As a not-for-profit, we don’t pay taxes. That makes it our job to put resources back into the community.”

And that’s precisely what Impact Agape Ministries has been doing for the past two years of its existence. Haynes and congregants spend time in their neighborhoods asking people what sort of help they need, then finding ways to serve.

In the future, they hope to offer classes on money management, marriage, and parenting. They have plans to provide training for young people after school, as well as creating a place of connection for seniors during the day.

Impact Agape Ministries just needed a home base from which to operate.

Looking for a Community to Serve

As a new church, finding places to meet wasn’t always easy. As the congregation grew, Haynes felt uncomfortable meeting in a variety of buildings. However, as a community-focused ministry, they needed to find a place to put down roots.

Fiscally conservative, Haynes was careful to build up the church’s financial reserves from the beginning. But even with a substantial bank account, all churches under five years old are considered a credit risk by most financial institutions.

About a year ago, when Haynes found a building to lease, he convinced the owners of his credit-worthiness by paying six months’ rent upfront. However, Haynes wanted the church to own a space they could settle into, modify, and perfect for their purposes.

It was time for Haynes to find a permanent home for Impact Agape Ministries and their congregation.

Haynes’s wife, Sandy Haynes, is a real estate broker for Old Orchard Realty. Together, they began looking for a place that would support their vision for the future. They looked at several buildings—some churches, some not. Some were too far from the neighbors they hoped to serve. Some were out of reach financially. Others didn’t have enough space for the planned-for outreach programs.

One day, while browsing online listings, the Haynes’s saw a former Catholic church in The Spanish Lake area. The Archdiocese of St. Louis had listed it with Hal Ball and Peter Newton of Hilliker Corporation along with Linda Jones of Linda M. Walsh Real Estate.

Hal C. BallPeter Newton

The price and location were in line with their concept for the ministry. They called Ball to learn more.

A Corridor of Community Institutions

The congregation of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Spanish Lake had consolidated to another church in 2017. But even though they were absent for more than a year, the building they had inhabited remained beautifully maintained.

At 10,000 square feet and sitting on 7.5 acres, it’s surrounded by other community institutions: Christ Light of Nation Elementary School, Twillman Elementary, and Trinity Catholic High School.

The building does not have a basement, so there was limited room in the building for their classrooms. However, they thought they could remodel the on-campus rectory for that purpose.

Ball and Newton worked hard to negotiate a mutually appropriate price. Impact Agape just needed to find financing, though doing so for a new ministry is difficult.

Most lenders asked for 25% down simply because Impact Agape wasn’t yet five years old. Though the church had a rock-solid bank account, that down payment was more than they had available.

Eventually, they found a financial partner with the help of Sharon Gladney, owner and operator of Midwestern Development Group, LLC. Gladney, a congregation member, was able to attain pre-approval for the finances needed. The lender was impressed by the church’s consistent membership and financial records.

The UCC was impressed by the church’s consistent membership and financial record. To build up the down payment, the congregation stopped paying rent by moving to The Twillman House Community Center. The congregation continued to give generously to cover the remainder of the down payment.

A Fresh Start for Impact Agape Ministries

Impact Agape Ministries was able to move into the new building on closing day.

The building will require some work to get it perfect for the future. But with a congregation happy to serve their new neighborhood together, everyone is ready to help the church succeed.

St. Louis Institutions—are you looking for a new home?

Hilliker Corporation is in the business of making St. Louis a kind and compassionate place, partnering with:

  • Congregations across all creeds.
  • Schools
  • Residential care facilities.

Whatever your current situation, Hilliker brokers want to work with you. We want to help you cut across red tape. In the end, we hope to negotiate a deal that makes sense for you, those you serve, and the donors who believe in what you’re doing.

If you’re ready to buy or lease a new church building—or an institutional building of any kind—set up an appointment with one of our brokers today.

Wayne Contracting Consolidates Remote Workforce by Purchasing Westport Office and Warehouse

Brad Burns was working for a general contractor in the St. Louis area when he caught the entrepreneurial bug. He believed he could build a multi-faceted business by curating a strong base of project managers, office staff, and contractors.

He began his first venture, Wayne Contracting, in 2014. They serve national retail chains and vendors by:

  • Installing retail fixtures.
  • Building out new branch locations.
  • Remodeling existing branch locations.
  • Setting up industry-specific equipment.
  • Overseeing construction for store closings and relocations.
  • Much more.

Their clients include Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Panera, Ralph Lauren, and Bank of America. They do their work throughout the US and Canada.

As Wayne Contracting has grown, Burns has leveraged his team’s skillset to spin off other businesses:

Attributing the company’s success to a combination of great timing and determination, Burns was able to get all four companies off the ground with more than 100 employees working remotely.

It was the perfect strategy, but he knew it wouldn’t work forever.

Office and Warehouse Space Along the I-270 Corridor

By 2017, Burns began his search for office and warehouse space. He knew it was time to act for several reasons.

First, the team’s collection of tools and materials were spread out across a rented storage facility, various trucks, and employees’ garages. If the business kept expanding at its current rate, they would grow beyond their capacity quickly.

Second, his project managers and office staff could accomplish more if they were in one place. The team was hungry for consistent face-to-face communication.

Finally, Burns and his wife have five children, ages seven and under. His home office situation was becoming untenable, joking, “Little kids don’t respect boundaries when you say, ‘I’ve got to work now.’”

The Wayne Contracting staff estimated they needed 10,000 square feet of combined office and warehouse. Additionally, he wanted to limit his search to the I-270 corridor—an easy commute for all team members. He was looking to buy, not lease, believing it was the right decision for the future stability of the company.

A. William AschingerInitially, two separate brokerages were unsuccessful in helping him find a space. During that time, he learned his aunt and uncle’s restaurant business had found success with Will Aschinger of Hilliker Corporation. Burns had met Aschinger years before and had been impressed by his knowledge, experience, and creativity.

Growing an Entrepreneur’s Portfolio

Burns and Aschinger started searching together. Aschinger only sent opportunities he thought were worth the busy entrepreneur’s time.

Burns said of Aschinger, “He’s a good guy and easy to deal with. Some brokers want to jam stuff down your throat, but not Will. He got in tune with what I was looking for relatively quickly.”

Unfortunately, in this extraordinarily tight market, few properties were available inside the parameters they had set. After searching for a total of two years, however, Burns felt like his business and family were both growing too quickly for him delay any longer. While scrolling through properties on the Hilliker website, something caught his attention.

32 Progress Parkway is a nearly 7,000 square foot warehouse and office building in the Westport area of Maryland Heights.

Patrick McKay of Hilliker Corporation represented the owner.

Though it was smaller than he initially hoped for, the Westport area was perfect. It’s an easy commute for Burns and his employees and a smart investment for the future.

Burns will continue to lease a remote parking facility for company vehicles, but everything else will fit comfortably inside the new location. They were able to purchase the property in July 2019 for $605,000.

Remodeling the space themselves, they estimate a move-in date mid-August, 2019.

Moving from Remote Employees to Real Estate Investment

Thanks to technological advancements, remote workers allow entrepreneurs to grow without leasing or buying a “central office.”

But “spread-out” can become “spread thin” very quickly. In many cases, face-to-face collaboration and consolidation can be the only efficient way forward.

If your business is ready to make the leap from remote office to central location, Hilliker Corporation’s brokers are experienced, creative, and determined. We look within the current market to find ways to help you grow and thrive well into the future.

If you’re ready to consolidate your efforts into your first commercial office or warehouse space, we’re here to help. Give us a call today.