Sunday, December 31, 2006

Davenport Bishop's Residence For Sale

Another diocese is planning to put it's Bishop's Residence up for sale. The Diocese of Davenport is placing the both the Residence and the Pastoral Center (that's Chancery to the rest of us) up for sale. The proceeds from the sale are earmarked to provide money which is needed for sexual abuse victims.

WQAD is reporting:
The Davenport Diocese is preparing to sell its headquarters and bishop's home, among other properties, in order to raise money for victims of sexual abuse.
The historic St. Vincent's Pastoral Center could go on the auction block in coming months. Valued at just over $4 million, it is the largest property on the list. It serves as the diocese headquarters and home for retired priests.
"We're not trying to hurt anybody," said Char Maaske, chief financial officer for the Diocese of Davenport. "We're just trying to do the best we can to do what's right for the church and victims."
But selling the structures and land could be easier said than done.
"It's not going to be a sale that occurs anytime soon," said Tom Carroll, Premier Partners.
Carroll is among those to evaluate the properties for the diocese. He compares it to the situation with the former Marycrest College in Davenport or Villa in Rock Island.
"I don't see an awful lot of real viable uses for that without an extensive renovation," he said.
At the same time, the bishop's home on nearby Scott Street is joining two other homes and land being put up for sale by the diocese.
"The housing market is down right now in the Quad Cities," Maaske said. "It's not a good time to be selling property, but we'll sell it for the best we can."
They're talking about the St. Vincent's deal at nearby St. Ambrose University. While the Catholic connection could make it a natural for the landlocked campus, the university says it's too early to comment.
"They're tight in an urban campus," Carroll said. "That would allow them to be able to expand."
While the diocese hopes that a buyer will allow them to stay and pay rent, Carroll says that the real value comes in the land rather than the buildings.
"I think it would be difficult for the existing uses to remain on the property," he said.
Maaske says that morale is better at diocese headquarters. As bankruptcy proceedings continue, she hopes that the worst is behind them.
"We're looking ahead to the future," she said. "We'll get through this and put it behind us. Hopefully, we'll do the best we can for the victims."

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