United Church of Christ Sells Cleveland Headquarters Building

The United Church of Christ has struck a deal to sell and lease back its downtown Cleveland headquarters building on Prospect Avenue. The church also is planning an outright sale of the adjoining Radisson hotel, which faces Huron Road to the south. (Michelle Jarboe McFee, The Plain Dealer)
The United Church of Christ has struck a deal to sell and lease back its downtown Cleveland headquarters building on Prospect Avenue. The church also is planning an outright sale of the adjoining Radisson hotel, which faces Huron Road to the south. (Michelle Jarboe McFee, The Plain Dealer)

The United Church of Christ has struck a deal to sell its Prospect Avenue headquarters building and the neighboring Radisson hotel.

The organization, a Protestant denomination that represents more than 5,100 congregations and 1 million members, has no plans to leave Cleveland. But the church will sell its downtown holdings to Global Management & Investments, an Atlanta-area hospitality company that plans to renovate the 142-room Radisson.

The UCC expects to lease back its nine-story headquarters building from the new owner, under a 20-year agreement.

The sales, at an undisclosed price, could occur by mid-August.

“We always intended to stay in downtown Cleveland,” Lee Foley, chief administrative officer for the church, said in a news release. “We were the first major property owner in this part of Cleveland in the early 1990s. It was a very blighted area, and now it’s vibrant and teeming with people.”

Terry Coyne of the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank real estate brokerage, which has been marketing the church’s buildings, declined to comment Wednesday. Listings on the LoopNet commercial real estate website show an asking price of $12 million for the office building.

The UCC put its properties on the market in February, after sales of nearby real estate demonstrated growing buyer interest in the Gateway District. Stark Enterprises of Cleveland and J-Dek Investments Ltd. of Solon paid $26 million for a downtown portfolio that includes a large parking lot on Prospect, just north of Quicken Loans Arena. They’re hoping to build a high-rise apartment tower, an office building, stores, restaurants and parking garages on that property.

Other buyers have snapped up smaller buildings in the area as long-term investments or redevelopment projects.

Global Management is focused on hotels. The company owns more than 30 hotels in seven states. Sam Patel, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said the Radisson would be Global’s first acquisition in Cleveland – but not its last.

“We’re working on something else right now,” Patel, reached by phone, said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re pretty close to acquiring that. I just want to keep that confidential for now.”

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SOURCE: The Plain Dealer
Michelle Jarboe McFee

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