Crystal Cathedral Bankruptcy Makes L.A. Real Estate Religiously Controversial

By Alex Girda Los Angeles real estate has seen its fair share of ups and downs lately, but it is the diversity of the news generated by the sector that is its most recognizable characteristic. This past week’s share of headlines [...]

Los Angeles real estate has seen its fair share of ups and downs lately, but it is the diversity of the news generated by the sector that is its most recognizable characteristic. This past week’s share of headlines is no different.

A Los Angeles Business Journal report reported that Crystal Cathedral is now taking bids on its 30-acre campus as it attempts to emerge from bankruptcy. The most recent offer is one made by an Irvine-based real estate investment firm, but church officials hope to organize an open bidding for potential buyers.

The report made note of a promise by the church’s attorney to a federal court judge that the church will seek the highest bid possible for the property. An initial deal reportedly had been set between Greenlaw Partners and the cathedral with a total value of $46 million. The deal would have been a very complex one, with the possibility of the church’s leasing the cathedral for $212,000 a month and a buyback option for the core buildings totaling $30 million. The architectural landmark has been in financial distress since owner Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code back on Oct. 18, 2010.

Other major real estate news this week has been generated by the Westfield Group’s plan to transform Warner Center into a shopping hub for the region. The $500 million initiative has been highly contested by the local council, according to the L.A. Daily News. Major complaints are coming in regarding the presence of a tire store and gas station, as their existence would damage the walking experience of shoppers while not satisfying any kind of need, as the area already sports 16 gas stations.

All complaints may fall short of making an impact with the project, as its benefits currently seem to trump any demands the council has. The development will produce 3,000 construction jobs, 4,000 permanent jobs as well a very substantial sum in taxes directed to the local economy.