May 23, 2015


A Development Conceived Out of the Bible

Charlotte Crane | 6/1/2009

Buddy Runnels
Destin developer Buddy Runnels looks at all the unused land churches own and sees an opportunity, but not for the resort and golf communities he usually builds.

Runnels figures that among the aging Baby Boomers beginning to retire are many who would welcome the spiritual and cultural enrichment — music, mentoring, arts and crafts — that vibrant, next-door church congregations would provide. He’s started a new company called Traditions 1:27 — a name derived from Biblical script at James 1:27 — to develop such communities. His partners are Dan Curtis, a CPA who has owned and developed senior-care facilities and worked as a consultant for more than 200 religious organizations; 35-year architect Jeff Floyd, the master planner for Olympic Games venues in Atlanta; and Runnels’ son, Trey, a lawyer.

“A lot of churches are located where senior and assisted living would be a natural piece of the church component,” Runnels says.

Churches also looking to generate extra income are beginning to flock to the Traditions concept, he says. “We design the church campus for maximum utilization and help them retire debt.’’

Rendering: Bishop Landing in Crestview
Runnels has plans to develop Bishop Landing, a 53-acre senior living campus in Crestview, and contracts are in the works for Sevierville and Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at North Port in southwest Florida.

Leaders of the 6,000-member Central Baptist Church at Hixson, Tenn., and Traditions partners will break ground this summer on the first phase of a 155-unit assisted living center on a 7.25-acre former parking area.

“The benefit is having a place where our folks who are aging can be close to all the facilities available, plus the cash flow,’’ says Central Baptist executive pastor Eddie Adams. “At some point in the future, we’ll put it up for sale, which will help the ministry, too.’’

Tags: Housing/Construction, Northwest

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Makey Makey GO
Makey Makey GO

In this unorthodox video, a new invention called Makey Makey GO turns everyday objects (even organic objects) into touchpads and combines them with the internet.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

This Memorial Day weekend, besides honoring men and women who lost their lives in military service, what are your plans?

  • I plan on having some fun (barbecuing, shopping, beaching) with friends or family!
  • No concrete plans -- going to keep it low-key.
  • I'm not taking Monday off... too much work to be done!

See Results

Ballot Box