Crystal Cathedral Interested in New Bidders for Church Property through Bankruptcy Auction

The famous Crystal Cathedral church filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, listing more than $50 million in debt as the main reason for filing. Greenlaw Partners of Orange County placed an offer for the property in May 2011, but the church is now asking the court to allow partial withdrawal from a plan made with Greenlaw.

In the May filing, an exit plan was filed with Greenlaw purchasing the Crystal Cathedral property for $46 million, leasing the church and various buildings back to the ministry and constructing apartments on areas of the property.

Two potential buyers have expressed interest in the land, both with different ideas for use. A plan filed by the church’s unsecured creditors allows Chapman University to purchase the 40-acre campus for $46 million and lease back essential buildings to the church for less money than Greenlaw proposed.

The other interested entity, the Roman Catholic Diocese or Orange states that it hopes the property remains a place of worship. The diocese does not have a central location of worship for the 1.2 million Catholics living in Orange County.

Recent filings related to the bankruptcy address objections to the church’s exit plan. Objections have been filed by the U.S. Trustee, a family who paid for a group plot in the church’s cemetery, and attorneys for church founder Robert H. Schuller.

Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney

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