Southland Christian Church, which is renovating the Lexington Mall property into a satellite campus, is expected to soon buy a former gas station at the front of the development on Richmond Road in Lexington.
Chris Hahn, lead executive pastor for the Jessamine County church, said a related entity that the church set up to handle the Lexington Mall property has a contract to buy the 0.52-acre site that was once a BP station.
Southland's purchase of the mall property included the acreage on which the Applebee's and former Perkins restaurants sit, but it did not include the former service station.
The sale also did not include The Home Depot, which owns the land on which its store is situated. It also didn't include Central Bank, which owns its property in front of the former mall.
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Hahn said he expects it will be months before the deal closes; the site is being cleaned up, including removal of the gasoline tanks.
The site is owned by Convenience Stores Leasing & Management LLC, an out-of-state company. Hahn declined to state the agreed-upon sales price.
The asking price for the property was $595,000.
The church does not yet have plans for the land, Hahn said. He said it could serve as a beautification area near the entrance or could become an outparcel for lease, which the church is planning to do with the former Perkins site. The restaurant closed earlier this year after settling a legal proceeding with the church-related entity.
Ken Silvestri, owner and partner of Silvestri-Craig Realtors, served as broker on the sale of Lexington Mall to Southland and is now looking for tenants such as a restaurant or bank.
Work is under way to demolish the Perkins building. Hahn said the construction crews have installed a black plastic covering around the work site to reduce distracted driving.
When completed, the campus will be Southland's second such satellite location after one that opened in Danville. In total, the church's campuses average 10,000 in attendance each weekend.
"We're right on schedule," he said, noting the first services are scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 5-6. "We continue to try to build relationships with the folks in the Woodhill area leading up to that launch."