Business Lead Story Religion West Edition

West Angeles Church sells off some of its property

CRENSHAW — The West Angeles Church of God in Christ has announced it has sold some of its property so it can be used to beautify and revitalize the area, while ensuring that “nuisance businesses” will be prohibited on the land.

According to the church, it sold off property including its administrative offices, church annex and theater. Financial details were not released, but church officials said the sale will enable it to build a Family Life Center, while also paying off the mortgage on its cathedral, with enough left over to establish a financial reserve.

“Paying off the cathedral’s mortgage ensures that the Crenshaw Corridor will forever have a house of worship that cares about its community,” Bishop Charles E. Blake said in a statement. “I am thankful to God that West Angeles Church of God in Christ can play such an important part in the future development and beautification of the South Los Angeles community.”

The sale of the church’s property included restrictions on its future use to prevent “nuisance” businesses from ever being located on it — “including, but not limited to bars, cannabis businesses and strip clubs.”

The deal also was structured to close in phases to allow the church to continue occupying its North Campus facilities while the Family Life Center is being built, officials said. The center is expected to be home to the church’s offices and educational facilities.

“We know of the tremendous value our property holds, not just financially but its importance to our community,” Blake said. “We count it a blessing to have our properties developed in a manner that will beautify the Crenshaw Corridor and provide resources and opportunities to the community.”

The church hired Kacy Keys of Praxis Development Group, as an advisor to manage the development deal.

“Kacy’s reputation as one of Los Angeles’ most influential women in real estate and her track record of success in projects that positively impact urban communities, made her the right choice in managing this deal,” said Gladys Ross, chief operations officer for West Angeles. “She managed a process to ensure that we obtained the best deal for the church and the community.”

“West Angeles is an incredible organization doing meaningful work,” Keys said. “Building lives and providing amazing services to the community — youth programs, healthy living programs, counseling services, etc. — with a continual focus on building values and community through worship.

“Negotiating a deal that allowed the church to capitalize on land value, remain a stable presence in the neighborhood for years to come, and stay true to its values and mission was paramount,” Keys added.

West Angeles Church of God in Christ was founded in 1943 by Elder Clarence E. Church.

Blake became the pastor after the death of Church in 1968.

Originally located on Adams Boulevard, the church moved to Crenshaw Boulevard in 1981, first in a 1,000 seat sanctuary at 3045 Crenshaw and in 1999 to the current church campus at 3600 Crenshaw.

During that time, Blake has grown the congregation from 40 members to more than 40,000.