Trinity United Methodist Church has agreed to sell 8 undeveloped acres along Military Trail to the Kolter Group for $2 million.
“We are putting the resources we have to our best use,” said John Denmark, pastor of the 900-member church. “We are not looking to become a megachurch.”
The development — likely residences — would be the second in the city linked to Kolter in recent weeks and the third in the area.
The West Palm Beach-based company also is under contract to buy the 700-acre Briger tract near Donald Ross Road, the largest undeveloped tract along Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County. It also has been approved to build luxury condominiums and townhomes along the Intracoastal Waterway in North Palm Beach
Officials at Trinity had planned to expand on the property, but the growth of other churches in the area — some of which arrived long after 50-year-old Trinity opened its doors — changed that idea, Denmark said.
Trinity sits within two miles of at least seven other Protestant churches. The Cathedral of St. Ignatius of Loyola — the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach — is one-half mile to the north on Military Trail.
Trinity runs a school on the property, which straddles Gardenia Drive just north of Northlake. The school, with students as young as 1 year and as old as fifth grade, has about 300 students. Trinity plans to add a sixth grade in the fall, Denmark said.
Selling the 8 acres leaves the church with 12. The 8 acres, at the entrance to BallenIsles Country Club, is zoned for residences. One Realtor said the best way for Kolter to maximize value of the site would be to build townhouses there.
“I expect Kolter would apply to increase the density as much as they can,” said John True, a Realtor based in Juno Beach.
Kolter officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Kolter’s contract for the 700-acre Briger tract — though not yet completed — has been confirmed by county officials and real-estate sources. The 1-square-mile vacant property, across Donald Ross Road from the Scripps Research Institute, was approved by Palm Beach Gardens in 2010 for biotech, office and retail space, a 300-room hotel, apartments and and single-family homes.
Kolter has been approved to build The Water Club, a gated community of twin 19-story, 74-condominium towers on the east side of U.S. 1 between PGA Boulevard and the Parker bridge in North Palm Beach. Twenty townhouses, and a marina on the Intracoastal Waterway, also are planned.
Water Club construction costs are expected to be about $70 million. The condos likely will sell for between $600,000 and $1 million, local Realtors said. Construction is expected to start early next year.
Denmark said Trinity officials have signed an agreement with Kolter to sell the property, which is on the north side of Gardenia Drive. No closing date has been set, Denmark said.
“We’ll use the money to make exterior and interior improvements and pay down our mortgage,” he said.