Bilingual Christian Center sells to Sacramento True Buddha Temple

The former Canterbury Inn, a once thriving 152 room hotel and conference center off Highway 160 (just north of Downtown Sacramento), divested its 7,000 square foot meeting room and banquet facility over 10 years ago. To facilitate the transaction, a lot line adjustment was first required to split the parcel, thereby creating 450 Media Place. Legal access to the resulting back lot (0.8 acres) was only by easement through the hotel parking lot with no access along the private frontage road. The buyer for this new parcel (in 2003) was Bilingual Christian Center, a Spanish speaking church, who had applied for and was granted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the City of Sacramento to accomplish the new use. Approximately 18 months ago, the church decided to sell and relocate elsewhere with a desire for more street visibility.

450 Media Place (off Highway 160)

Once on the market, and much to the surprise of listing agent (Brian Jacks), close to 100 calls were fielded from possible buyers, of which upwards of 80% were for a church or some kind of assembly use. Jacks expected this 42 year old Class C building with inferior access and visibility would be a challenge to sell; however, it be became clear there was significant demand for local church / assembly space with a CUP already in place. Otherwise, the City application process could involve 6 months, a public hearing, close to $10,000 fee, architectural drawings and major uncertainty. Once the property had been on the market for 8 months, it finally went under contract at full asking price of $695,000 (just under $100 per square foot). The buyer, a local Buddhist temple, executed a long escrow with periodic non-refundable deposits while raising the cash to close. The private, secluded setting was actually a positive attribute for this group.

If a CUP had not already been in place for 450 Media Place, the property would have taken much longer to sell and most likely trade at a substantial discount. The seller went through the CUP process upon acquiring the property (over 10 years ago) and is not looking forward to a second round. For this reason, the church (seller) is concentrating its efforts on identifying buildings outside the City of Sacramento limits, but within the County of Sacramento, where CUPs are often not required, since most commercial zones already permit a church use by right, so long as parking is sufficient. 

View of church property from Media Place (frontage road)

450 Media Place is located adjacent to a 152 room former hotel that was originally constructed in 1972 as a Holiday Inn along historic Route 40, the western stretch of the country’s first cross-country highway. Now named Canterbury Village, which last traded hands approximately two years ago, the new owner had planned to convert the project into 13 office suites and 63 residential suites, each at about twice the size of the original hotel rooms. Due to certain challenges the owner had encountered, the project stalled and is now on the market for sale as a senior housing redevelopment project.  Suffice it to say, the Buddhist group will no doubt position itself in peaceful co-existence with its future neighbors, whomever they turn out to be.


Article contributed by Brian Jacks

Brian Jacks is a Sacramento commercial real estate broker (since 1996), specializing in commercial leasing and investment sale transactions for retail, office, industrial, multifamily, mixed-use, and special purpose properties.  Having spent over 20 years with Wells Fargo, he personally facilitated the underwriting, approval and funding of more than 225 commercial real estate loans totaling over $1 billion in proceeds.  Jacks is the Principal Broker for JACKS Commercial Real Estate, which serves the Sacramento market for commercial sales and leasing of all property types.  For more information, contact Brian Jacks:
(916) 837-3456

BRE Broker Lic. #01217349


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