Worldwide Church of God Sells Portion of Ambassador Campus
To Maranatha High School and Harvest Rock Church
World-renowned Ambassador Auditorium to remain
Pasadena, CA, May 14, 2004 The Worldwide Church of God today announced the sale of approximately 13 acres of its 31-acre west campus to Ambassador Acquisition Partners, LLC, comprised of Harvest Rock Church and Maranatha High School.
The sale includes what was once part of the main campus of Ambassador College. The transaction includes the colleges famed Ambassador Auditorium, Hall of Administration, Physical Education Complex, Student Center and Mens Dormitory. (This included the Temple/House of God).
We are thrilled with this sale. The Campus will continue to be a site for Christian education and worship, stated Bernie Schnippert, director of Finance and Planning for the Worldwide Church of God.
We are especially pleased to announce that the Ambassador Auditorium will continue as a place of worship, and will be used for private performing and theatre arts education, and potentially, public performing arts events. The Ambassador Auditorium has always been an important part of the Worldwide Church of Gods ministry. We are pleased that this religious and cultural jewel will continue to be used for the glory of God, Schnippert added.
Harvest Rock will be the new owner of the Ambassador Auditorium. The Ambassador Auditorium has historically been used primarily as a worship center and, secondarily, as a world-renowned concert hall. Maranatha High School will also have use of the Ambassador Auditorium for performing and theatre arts productions pursuant to an agreement with Harvest Rock Church.
The transaction includes a 45,000 square foot building, which will be renovated by Maranatha High School for classroom use, and a 38,000 square foot student center and cafeteria. These existing facilities will also house library, science and computer labs. Existing athletic facilities include a sports field (football, soccer and track and field), a softball field and Ambassador College's former sports complex, which includes a collegiate-size gymnasium, locker rooms, weight room and an indoor six-lane swimming pool. A subterranean three hundred space parking structure is also on site.
Harvest Rock Church celebrated its 10th Anniversary on April 4th. We could not think of a better anniversary gift than that of a new church home. We are grateful to all of those who have been involved with this transaction, stated Senior Pastor Che Ahn, of Harvest Rock Church. I want to thank the Lord and our church congregation for its sacrificial giving to make this purchase possible.
We are pleased to ensure that the irreplaceable Ambassador Auditorium remains a vibrant part of Pasadena. We are also committed to serving our community and will consider the use of the Ambassador Auditorium for performing arts events, in conjunction with our schedule of Church services, Pastor Ahn added. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know the Ambassador Hall Board for the Performing Arts and learn more about their vision and goals.
Maranatha Board President David Poole stated, "After facing some significant challenges in the last few years in securing a permanent campus, we are so excited for our students and their families, our faculty and administration, that we have been able to acquire such a remarkable property which is already so well suited for our needs.
That we have been blessed with this opportunity is the result of circumstances which we believe could have only been orchestrated by God, to whom we are so very grateful, Poole added. This acquisition is the also the result of the generosity and hard work by some key friends of the school, as well as the Board and Maranatha's Head of School, Chet Crane, and his administrative team. Additionally, we are pleased that in meeting Maranatha's needs we are also playing a part in preserving these wonderful academic and athletic buildings and the beautiful campus environment. We look forward to working with the City and our new neighbors to insure that Maranatha fits in well with the neighborhood."
Schnippert said that the Church was pleased that it was able to meet many of its goals through this sale. It was our hope that we could find a financial solution to reopen the Ambassador Auditorium. We could not be more pleased that we have achieved our goal without the use of public money, stated Bernie Schnippert. We reached our other goal of preserving a significant amount of the identity of the Ambassador Campus while also achieving our fiduciary obligations to our congregations.
The Worldwide Church of God plans to retain its headquarters offices in Pasadena for now by utilizing the remaining 17 acres of the campus and leasing back space from Maranatha as needed while exploring options for the future. Due to both the previous sale of the Ambassador Colleges East Campus on the other side of the 710 Freeway, and the sale announced today, the Church will withdraw its application for the Ambassador Campus Development Plan from the City of Pasadena.
Harvest Rock Church, a non-denominational church, began in the Pasadena home of Senior Pastor Che Ahn in April of 1994. Currently, the membership is over 1,000 with weekly attendance at over 800. Most of its parishioners are from Pasadena and surrounding communities. Harvest Rock Church is part of Harvest International Ministries, which has a membership of over 1,200 autonomous churches in 27 nations around the world.
Maranatha High School, a non-denominational Christian high school, was founded in 1965 and was previously located in Arcadia and Sierra Madre until its move two years ago to the campus of William Carey International University in Pasadena. Maranatha is a college preparatory high school for grades nine through twelve with a student enrollment for 2004-2005 of approximately five hundred students. The Worldwide Church of God has owned the Ambassador Campus since 1947. It operated Ambassador College from 1947 to 1990. The Worldwide Church of God currently has 58,000 members in over 100 countries with more than 800 individual congregations internationally.
The Worldwide Church of God built the Ambassador Auditorium in 1974. The Church has operated the Ambassador Auditorium continuously as a worship center, and, from 1974 to 1995, operated it as a concert and performing arts venue for 20 internationally acclaimed performance seasons. The Ambassador Auditorium hailed as the Carnegie Hall of the West is recognized internationally for its acoustic perfection and high quality of craftsmanship.
The prior sale of the East half of the Campus
Press release, Feb. 11, 2004
For Immediate Release Contact: Fred Muir (310) 278-9321 Hilary Norton Orozco (213) 448-2900
Church of God sells East Campus of Ambassador College to
Church continues with plans for West Campus
Pasadena, February, 11, 2004-- The Worldwide Church of God today announced the sale of its East Campus property in the Old Pasadena historic commercial district to Sares-Regis Group, a prominent Southern California developer, for an undisclosed sum.
Sares-Regis Group plans to meet with the City to discuss its plans for a transit-oriented urban village which could include for-sale and rental homes. The approximately 11-acre property is bounded by Del Mar to the South and DeLacey Avenue on the East, with the exception of the Friend Paper Company parcel at the corner of Green Street and DeLacey Avenue and the Werks Bros. garage on Green Street.
The sale will allow the Church and its development team to concentrate their efforts on completing the entitlement process for the West Campus portion of the Ambassador Campus Planned Development. The Ambassador Campus is designed as a residential neighborhood which blends historic homes, gardens, new community infrastructure, and the potentially reopened Ambassador Auditorium.
The sale of the East Campus is good for everyone involved, said Bernard Schnippert, director of finance and planning for the Worldwide Church of God. The Church is happy that we can continue our religious mission to focus our resources on to our nearly 600 pastors and 800 congregations around the world.
Bill Montgomery, spokesman for Sares-Regis Group, said, We are very proud to have reached this agreement with the Worldwide Church of God, and are eager to develop the East Campus with a project that meets or exceeds the high architectural design and landscape standards that make Pasadena such a special place. It is exciting to play a bigger role in this extraordinary community.
The project we envision will help ease the housing shortage and complement the exciting and vibrant Old Pasadena with an urban village neighborhood that is an easy walk to two Gold Line stations, Montgomery added. We are just getting started in defining the scope of our project. We look forward to working with the City and community as we create the new plan.
Schnippert agreed, The property is in good hands. Utilizing their community planning and development experience Sares-Regis Group will bring a new vision to the East Campus parcel.
Sares-Regis Group is one of the leading developers, managers and builders of residential and commercial real estate in the Western United States. The company has acquired or developed approximately 36 million square feet of commercial properties and more than 18,000 apartment and residential homes since its inception. Recent development projects include: Watermarke, a 535 unit luxury apartment community located in Irvine, a condominium conversion of Seabridge Villas in Huntington Beach, and an active senior apartment community, Remington at Ladera Ranch. Last year, Sares-Regis Group acquired the nearby Holly Street Village apartment community in Pasadena.
The Worldwide Church of God assembled more than 100 separate parcels of land over the past 50 years to build the 48-acre Ambassador Campus, which has served as its international headquarters and the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College. In acquiring these properties, the Church was able to save many significant historic structures and gardens from likely demolition. The Campus is widely recognized for its magnificent landscaping, historic homes, and the world-renowned Ambassador Auditorium. The Churchs development plan includes the preservation of the significant homes and gardens, and the potential reopening of the Ambassador Auditorium.
With its belief in preserving the best of Pasadena character, the Church created the Ross Grove historic landmark district to include five single-family homes on South Orange Grove Boulevard that had been part of the campus. Those homes, examples of the old Millionaires Row era of Pasadena, are now being sold to the public with the protections afforded by the Ross Grove Landmark District. In addition, the Church is conducting public tours of the Ambassador Campus and Ambassador Auditorium.
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