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How This Franchisee Secured Land for Her Lightbridge Academy in Just Five Months

From real estate selection to construction guidance, Lightbridge Academy offers in-depth support to ensure each franchisee can open their center as soon as possible.

Trina Anderson, franchise owner with early education and child care franchise Lightbridge Academy®, isn’t letting anything stand in the way of following her passion — including a tight labor market. 

In April of 2023, Anderson officially signed on to open a Lightbridge Academy franchise in Jacksonville, FL, hoping to assist children in successfully transitioning into the school system. And, just five months into the process, Anderson has already found the perfect site for her center, a testament to not only her dedication but also the in-depth real estate support the franchisor provides its franchise owners.

“I believe this is the right time for me to move forward in opening my Lightbridge Academy center,” said Anderson. “My background and experiences have provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to move forward with this great opportunity.”

After spending 14 years as a teacher and eventually advancing to administration, Anderson knew she wanted to work more directly with children but put that mission on hold to work alongside her family construction company. Anderson gained valuable business experience through their construction company, managing Human Resources, certifications, risk management, and payroll. Despite her fulfilling role there, her desire to work with children never waned, leading her to explore the prospect of owning a childcare center with Lightbridge Academy.

The journey towards opening the center began with a significant decision to purchase land rather than lease. Given the scarcity of suitable land in her market, Anderson says Lightbridge Academy's support in this process was indispensable. The franchise connected the Andersons with a real estate agent and a broker, for example, who were instrumental in locating and securing the right property. 

Lightbridge Academy helps identify premium real estate locations that fit the ideal demographic profile. The corporate team uses strict criteria for their site approval process, and franchisees know that their best interests are always at heart. Together, they carefully analyze sites, conduct market research, and work with developers to ensure the highest quality construction and brand representation in the market. 

“They would send us prospects on different land for sale throughout the city that met their criteria,” said Anderson. “From there, we all went together to look at the properties and eventually narrowed it down to one that we really liked. They are always there to help us and are in direct contact with the sellers, which is great.”

Throughout the entire process, Anderson says communication was vital. “We met with the team and the broker every week,” she said. “That really helped knowing someone was going to be there to guide us and ensure we didn’t miss anything.”

With the assistance of the Lightbridge Academy franchise team, Anderson managed to secure a promising piece of land earlier than anticipated and is currently in the process of filing the paperwork.

“The team helped make sure everything was all set with the contract,” said Anderson. “They even negotiated down the price of the land. The land is in a very convenient spot, close to two interstates. This is what families are going to like — the convenience of being able to drop a child off and head to work. Child care is really lacking in that area, so building a Lightbridge Academy is going to be perfect for families and I’m thrilled we’ve found this location.”

While waiting for the land purchase to close, Anderson is in the process of selecting builders, aiming to have the Lightbridge Academy center up and running by the end of 2025. 

"The hard part for me is waiting, but we are getting very excited," Anderson said. “It's starting to feel real as we get things rolling, and it’s been amazing to have the backing of the home office team. Everything that needs to be done, I’m ready to do it with a smile!”

Lightbridge Academy has employed several new strategies to work to shorten the time to open including proactively leasing real estate sites at the corporate level before franchise owners are signed. This strategy allows the brand to leverage its development partnerships and encourage a faster launch for new franchisees.

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.