Windermere Development Company, LLC
March 10, 2006
The following statement was issued on March 8, 2006, by Windermere Baptist Conference Center, Inc. and Windermere Development Company, LLC regarding the sale of 941 acres adjacent to the Conference Center by National City Bank to Windermere Development Company, Inc., on February 24, 2006. This transaction completes a two-step process begun when the Conference Center sold the 941 acres to National City Bank on November 15, 2005.
The Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors and staff of Windermere Baptist Conference Center are pleased that the final step of their financial restructuring was completed with the sale by National City Bank of 941 acres of surplus, undeveloped land which it purchased from the Conference Center in November, 2005 to Windermere Development Company, LLC.
Windermere Development Company, LLC was established by Springfield developer William R. Jester. Mr. Jester agreed to purchase the property and develop it in a manner that would complement Windermere's master plan.
Mr. Jester currently has commercial real estate holdings of roughly 340,000 square feet and is involved in numerous residential developments in the Springfield, Republic and Lake of the Ozarks area. Jester's various companies are known for high quality, well-managed and profitable real estate holdings. A team of highly qualified professionals assist in the management and strategic planning for his developments. The company is committed to the ownership and management of only the highest quality properties.
Mr. Jester has a history of significant involvement with Missouri Baptists. In 1999, Mr. Jester made a $1 million structured gift to Southwest Baptist University to endow the Jester Learning and Performance Center which houses the University's library and theatre.
Jester has a long-standing interest in the work and ministry of Windermere Baptist Conference Center. When meeting with the Center's Board of Trustees following the purchase of the land from National City Bank, Mr. Jester reiterated his desire to coordinate with the conference center to enhance its ministry as well as the entire area.
This transaction allows the continuation of the general theme of the Windermere master plan. The plan continues the vision and long range thinking of Windermere's Advisory Board as far back as 1991 and the Board of Trustees since 2001.
The initial phase of the master plan was begun with the development of Wilderness Creek which already provides auditorium seating for 1500, conference space for 600 and housing for 728 in nine completed lodge buildings. Work is progressing on five incomplete lodge buildings. The facility is designed to eventually include a second kitchen and dining hall.
The development, because of its size and varied terrain, will lend itself to being multi faceted. The topography is mainly gently to moderately rolling. There is abundant frontage on a hard surface road and the property has significant lake shore frontage, and boat access to the Lake of the Ozarks. When completed under a master development plan the acreage will include town houses, villas, condominiums, private residences, commercial buildings, and a possible retirement facility.
A second phase of the Conference Center's master plan called for making use of the undeveloped land by establishing such a "Windermere Community". This community will appeal to the general public as well as friends of Windermere with an interest in being close to the campus and participating in campus activities. A significant benefit to Windermere would be a close and ready source of senior adults willing and able to be involved in the growing volunteer corps, providing opportunities to remain active in a well established ministry.
The Windermere Development Company is committed to a cooperative relationship with the Conference Center. It is the belief of Mr. Jester and the Conference Center leadership that this will strengthen the Center's year round ministry to seniors and provide many exciting opportunities for the campus. Toward that end, at Mr. Jester's request, the Board of Trustees has established a committee to serve as a liaison with the Windermere Development Company to insure development activities are coordinated with the on-going ministries of the Conference Center.
God continues to bless Windermere with an approved balanced budget and a very substantial increase in our ministry based on already contracted groups. The growing awareness of the improved and enlarged facilities is a contributing factor in Windermere's increasing Christian Ministry.
Thousands have come to know Christ . . . countless numbers have renewed their commitments to God . . . hundreds have felt and accepted a call to ministry . . . others have made tremendous relationships or met their life partners. Windermere has always been a place where God is at work in the lives of men, women, boys and girls. Windermere is about building lives!
Windermere Baptist Conference Center with a proud heritage and 49 year history continues to fulfill its mission statement "As a dedicated Christ-like team we will provide a Christian setting in which life changing experiences may occur for all involved."