From The Pacific Southwest District Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Pacific Southwest District-LCMS has made the decision to sell the UCLA University Lutheran Chapel property after prayerful consideration of how we can best reach people for Christ and advance God's kingdom in our District. This difficult decision was arrived at through the course of 10 years with the input of multiple independent task forces and the guidance of Foundry Commercial, a real estate development and sales firm that partners with both the PSD and the LCMS. Please note the following:
• The original ministry concept for the UCLA ministry was a “town and gown” congregation - a local congregation that did outreach to the UCLA campus. The University Lutheran Chapel congregation held its last worship service and officially closed in June of 2018. We celebrate and give thanks to God for the ministry of The University Lutheran Chapel, for the many lives that have been transformed through faith in Jesus, and for the dedicated service of pastors and lay leaders throughout the years.
• The UCLA campus ministry continues its outreach and service to the UCLA community under the leadership of its called pastor, Rev. Bart Loos. Some students, because of this ministry, are now attending worship at First Lutheran Church, Culver City.
• The UCLA property, from its inception, has been under the ownership of the Pacific Southwest District. In 2018, PSD incurred costs for the UCLA property of almost $20,000 for insurance, security, and utilities.
• There is no debt attached to the property and the sale will NOT be used for debt retirement.
• The building is red-tagged because it requires earthquake retrofitting. The deferred maintenance issues are significant. Costs associated to retrofit the building and remodel for improved function cannot be justified. The outdated building is not safe nor adequate for today’s campus ministry.
• Many alternatives have been considered: remodel the building to include high-cost condos and retain the sanctuary on the 4th floor; partner with a developer for student housing and designated ministry space; build student housing with a commercial space for a ministry coffee shop, etc. All of these options were either outside zoning allowances or not fiscally responsible.
• Foundry has recommended that the best approach, to achieve the highest sale value, necessitates demolishing the building prior to sale – hopefully by June 1.
• The beautiful stained glass panels in the nave will be professionally removed and stored and made available to PSD congregations in the future. The stained glass behind the altar is mortared glass and too heavy to remove and store. The pipe organ is also being evaluated for possible reuse.
• The value of the sale will exceed $10 million.
• The sale of the property will enable the Pacific Southwest District to significantly impact its mission, including the expansion of District-wide campus ministry. The PSD Campus Coalition is developing a plan to expand outreach to other campuses.
• PSD campus ministry engagement continues at the University of California, San Diego, Arizona State University, and UCLA/Cal State-Northridge/Santa Monica College.
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DISTRICT PROPERTIES
District-held properties are:
• University Lutheran Chapel, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
• La Santa Cruz Lutheran Church, Los Angeles, CA
• Palabra de Dios Lutheran Church, Maywood, CA
• San Pedro y San Pablo Lutheran Church, Bell Gardens, CA
• St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Norwalk, CA
• University Lutheran Church, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
• Santo Tomas Lutheran Church, Phoenix, AZ