August 13, 2012
REGARDING SALE OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces today that it will sell select real estate holdings including the Villa Saint Joseph by the Sea property in Ventnor, New Jersey. It had been previously reported that the Archbishop's residence would be sold. The Archdiocese expects to sell that property in a private transaction.
Earlier this summer, the Archdiocese took significant steps to reduce its expected operating deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012. An operating deficit of at least $6 million is expected even before any extraordinary costs that may be incurred.
"To address the cash flow challenges caused by deficits, the Church is faced with hard decisions. It's similar to what families have to do when their expenses are greater than income," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. "We just can't afford to maintain and hold assets like Villa Saint Joseph by the Sea and my residence. Holding on to these properties at this time would be inconsistent with the mission of our Church."
Over the last several months, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its Real Estate Committee has evaluated its real estate holdings, based on a variety of considerations. The Archdiocese, in consultation with the Real Estate Committee, will determine the method of sale for each of these properties on a case by case basis.
Villa Saint Joseph by the Sea (114 South Princeton Avenue; Ventnor, NJ 08046)
Constructed in 1905, this property has served as a summer vacation home for retired priests of the Archdiocese since 1963. Due to the unique characteristics of this beachfront property, it will be sold via auction by Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Company. Further details regarding the auction will be made available by the Max Spann firm on Tuesday, August 14th.
The Holy Family Center (227 North 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103) and the Northern Portion of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center Parking Lot (North 17th Street and Vine Street; Philadelphia, PA 19103)
The Holy Family Center is an approximately 20,000 square foot former convent located in the parking lot of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center and serves as office space for various agencies of Catholic Social Services. The programs and employees will be relocated with no reduction in workforce. The building, along with the parking lot adjacent to it, encompasses the length of Vine Street from 17th Street to 18th Street. This property will be marketed by HFF, L.P.
The Mary Immaculate Center (300 Cherryville Road; Northampton, PA 18067)
The Mary Immaculate Center was originally built as a Seminary by the Congregation of Missions of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1939. From 1991 to 2005 it served as the location for the Spirituality Year Program for seminarians studying at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. When the Spirituality Year Program ended in 2005, the property served as a retreat center. The 452 acre property has been underutilized in recent years. This property is being marketed by Binswanger.
"The decision to sell these properties was not made lightly, but rather after prayer and careful consideration," said Archbishop Chaput. "Selling these assets will help us as we work to ensure the long-term financial stability and position the Archdiocese for future growth. It will also allow us to remain committed to the services and support we provide to the faithful as well as the broader community."
To the extent internal approvals are required, including approvals from Rome, they will be obtained prior to the closing of a sale on any property.
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