United Properties offers $2.75M for bankrupt Twin Cities archdiocese's chancery

The chancery of the archdiocese
The chancery of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is made up of two connected buildings.
Regina McCombs | MPR News 2015

A major real estate developer wants to buy the Summit Avenue chancery of the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Minneapolis-based United Properties has offered $2.75 million for the chancery, but other parties could top that offer for the nearly 4 acre site in St. Paul. Any sale will be subject to court review.

The sloping chancery property could accommodate a five-story building without blocking views of the nearby Cathedral of St. Paul, said Paul Donovan of the firm selling properties for the archdiocese.

"Any reasonable developer wants to respect the grandeur of Summit Avenue," Donovan said. "And this would be a great opportunity to make a very tasteful development that complements the rest of Summit."

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Current zoning allows low-density residential projects, such as single-family homes, and there's a 1.5 acre parcel of adjacent city-owned land that could be included in a project.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy about a year ago. The church, sex abuse victims, insurers and other parties are in mediation talks aimed at devising a plan that compensates abuse victims and assures the financial viability of the archdiocese.