Crystal Cathedral Sells Property for $46M in Bankruptcy Exit Plan

The Crystal Cathedral, seeking a way to resolve its debt woes, will sell its church and 40-acre campus for $46 million to an Orange County developer, according to the federal bankruptcy plan filed Friday.

Greenlaw Partners of Newport Beach will buy the property in Garden Grove, Calif., and plans to build apartments on the land, the Chapter 11 exit plan filed at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana disclosed.

The real estate developer will lease the property back to Crystal Cathedral for $212,000 a month and guarantee exclusive lease rights for 15 years, according to the reorganization plan.

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The church administration will have the option of buying back the church, the landmark venue of its "Hour of Power" broadcasts, for $30 million within the next four years.

The bankruptcy plan is awaiting approval. It could be approved as early as late summer.

Crystal Cathedral, whose founder is Robert H. Schuller, has been looking for an exit strategy from its millions of dollars in debt ever since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October.

Only a portion of the 550 creditors listed in the filings were designated as eligible for full repayment. The California megachurch plans to pay back any remaining vendor debt over the next 42 months.

The reorganization plan also revealed that Chief Executive Sheila Schuller Coleman, the founder's daughter, will receive a salary of around $70,000 a year.

A chief financial officer will be hired by the church and receive a salary of no more than $300,000 a year, the filings reported.

"We are pleased that we are able to honor the debt that we have incurred and to honor the creditors who are due their payment. We are thankful to the vendors for their patience and we are so sorry for any pain that they have incurred. To pay them back 100 percent has always been a top priority and we are grateful to God for providing the resources to be able to do just that," said Coleman in a statement ahead of the exit plan filings Thursday.

"The Crystal Cathedral Ministries would like to thank our church members and friends around the world who have given from their hearts to help rebuild a solid foundation from which we can continue our ministry and launch the new vision for the Crystal Cathedral Ministries."

Crystal Cathedral said the exit plan does not affect its current ministries. It will continue its local worship services and community outreach programs as well as its weekly "Hour of Power" broadcast as it has for the past 50 years.

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