Developer Buys Church Campground

February 10, 2014 by   - () Comments Off on Developer Buys Church Campground

A beloved Presbyterian campground will likely close after Chicago church officials voted to sell the grounds on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to a private developer, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The vote on Saturday (Feb. 8) came as the Chicago Presbytery aims to pay a $7.9 million debt, the result of a confidential 2007 lawsuit settlement.

Around the time of the settlement, the Presbytery took out a multimillion dollar loan using the campground as collateral, a decision at the time unknown by many of the roughly 33,000 Chicago-area church members.

On Saturday, church officials said the sale of the land in Saugatuck, Mich., was necessary to get in good financial standing and continue the church’s mission.

“No one wants to lose this property or the ministry for youth and families that has been continuing all these years,” said the Rev. Bob Reynolds, head of the Chicago Presbytery, after the vote. “We are now at a point where we will be able to repay our long-standing debt by the middle of this month and move on with our ministry.”

The vote solidifies the plan to sell the 130-acre property to developer David Barker, who offered a total of $10 million with a closing date of Feb. 14, Reynolds said. Barker has proposed building houses on part of the property.

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