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Crystal Cathedral decision delayed

Two new counter-offers heat up the court and postpone the hearing's resolution

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: November 15, 2011 09:55 AM

The decision on whether Chapman University or the Diocese of Orange should be allowed to purchase the iconic Garden Grove Crystal Cathedral has been put on hold until Thursday. The hearing that was due to decide the question yesterday was tabled until Thursday, after both sides modified their bids for the property.

As the case currently stands, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is the high bidder; going into court on Monday, the Diocese’s bid stood at $55.4 million, with the option to lease back some of the buildings on the campus for three years, but the end requirement that the congregation move to an alternative worship space. The creditor’s committee, however, endorsed Chapman University’s offer, in spite of the fact that it amounted to a lower dollar figure. The University came into court on Monday with a $51.5 million purchase bid, the option to lease back core campus buildings and the option repurchase buildings over a period of time.

According to various reports, however, the hearing began with both parties modifying their bids to make them more appealing. The Diocese increased their purchase offer by $2.1 million, bringing the bid to $57.5 million. As a counter proposal, Chapman University representatives offered an alternative to their own bid, wherein key campus buildings––the Tower of Hope, Memorial Gardens, the Arboretum and the cathedral itself––are leased back to the Ministry for just $1 per month instead of the $150,000 originally proposed. However, according to reports, the modified lease offer would eliminate the option to buy back those core buildings in the future, the key element that distinguished the Chapman offer from the Diocese’s.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kwan has scheduled the next hearing for Thursday afternoon, according to local reports, to allow the cathedral’s board time to consider the two new proposals.

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