SAU CFDD
Feb 182009
 

St. Vincent Center is headquarters for the Davenport Diocese.

By Barb Arland-Fye

DAVENPORT — Diocesan headquarters and the 48.5 acres on which it sits is for sale at a listing price of $3.5 million. That is $400,000 less than the stated amount in the bankruptcy settlement agreement between the diocese and its creditors.

Mel Foster Co.’s Commercial Real Estate Services is handling the sale of the Davenport property, which must be sold as part of the diocese’s $37 million bankruptcy settlement.

A listing agreement between Mel Foster and the trustee for the diocese’s bankruptcy settlement, Robert Berger, was reached last week, said Thad Denhartog of Mel Foster.

Denhartog declined to disclose the length of the contract.

The listing, which is on Mel Foster’s Web site and has been circulated in the Realtor community, describes the property as an outstanding development with more than 57,000 square feet of buildings on 48-plus acres of land in central Davenport. Specifically, the buildings house 21 apartments, 1 duplex, offices, workshops, four multi-car garages, chapel, meeting rooms, gym and more.

The land is described as being a combination of several lots, most level and cleared and some with creek and wooded area. The back lot along Duck Creek may be in the floodplain, the listing notes.

“The intrinsic value” of the property is the ground it sits on, Denhartog said, adding that it has a lot of potential for mixed development of commercial and residential use. The St. Vincent Center, the main building on the property, is 109 years old.

“We’re looking for someone with an overall development plan to redevelop the site,” Denhartog said. It would be well suited for a mix of multifamily residences, commercial and educational facilities, he added.

Because diocesan officials deeded the property to the bankruptcy court last year, decisions concerning the property’s future belong to Berger, the trustee. He has not returned phone calls from The Catholic Messenger.

“We’re now aware the property has been put on the market and that a real estate firm has been selected,” said Msgr. John Hyland, the diocese’s vicar general. “The diocese had nothing to do with the selection process.”

As to how long the property might be listed, Denhartog said, “Hopefully not long, hopefully we’ll sell it quickly.”

The diocese will have at least 90 days after a sale is completed to move. Eleven priests live at St. Vincent Center and 40 people work there.

Char Maaske, the diocese’s chief financial officer, said a task force had been formed some time ago to look at opportunities for properties that would be suitable for diocesan headquarters. No final decisions have been made.

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