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Epiphany Lutheran congregation still trying to sell building

Sikh group had made offer

By ERIC MAROTTA Editor Published: June 14, 2017 12:00 AM

NORTHFIELD CENTER -- The sale of a local church building is apparently on hold.

Epiphany Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Valley View Road and Route 8, remains for sale, the church announced in its June bulletin.

"We had a bid from a group of Sikh's from Bedford, but the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has essentially told us that it would appear they are 'not sufficiently capitalized,' (translation: they haven't been able to raise enough funds) to follow through on that bid," the bulletin stated. "We were instructed to begin to seek other potential buyers, which we are doing."

A representative from the Sikh group could not be reached for comment.

The Lutheran congregation in February announced that a group of about two dozen families who now attend the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Society Gurdwara in Bedford had made a $1.266 million offer to purchase the building, according to the church newsletter. The congregation had voted to accept the offer by a vote of 29 to 5 members, according to the newsletter.

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The congregation had put the building up for sale after struggling to pay its mortgage to LCEF.

Under the terms of the offer, the Epiphany congregation could rent the facility until next January for $500 per month, but then would need to relocate, the newsletter stated.

"The realtor assigned to us by LCEF is trying to show the building to other potential buyers, but nothing has come forward in the last few months in the way of an offer," the newsletter stated.

Church Trustee Bill Lupica said financing was one issue, but other issues he declined to comment on were obstacles to an agreement.

"Really it just boils down to there was no conclusion that could make both parties happy," he said. "We just gave up on it ... part of the problem was they needed financing but neither of us could make the other happy."

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The Rev. Christian Just, the church pastor, previously told the News Leader that the mortgage holder put the building up for sale in November 2016. The church had announced the building was up for sale la

The church is at 10503 Valley View Road in Northfield Center on a triangular shaped, 6.7-acre lot with frontage on Route 8 and Valley View Road. According to Summit County Fiscal Office records, the lot is worth around $460,000 and the 35,000-square-foot building (built in 1960) is appraised at just over $1.35 million for a total value of over $1.8 million.

The senior center is open on Wednesdays. The cost is split three ways between Northfield Center Township, Sagamore Hills Township and Northfield Village.

"We've been in financial trouble since Summa left us in about 2009," Just previously said, referring to room in the church the congregation had leased to the health care provider for an adult daycare facility.

Epiphany Lutheran Church was founded in 1956 as an outreach ministry in the Nordonia Hills area.

Sikh outreach director Azaadjeet Singh told the News Leader in March that a group of about two dozen families now based in Bedford were hoping to establish a Sikh gurdwara -- as Sikh places of worship are referred to -- in the Northfield Center building.

"This is more of a youngish crowd ... like the second generation. They have an American perspective. This is our home -- this is our motherland. My daughter -- her first language is English. We're looking down the road, 20 to 25 years, and we like the fact that there is a senior center there."

Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433

emarotta@recordpub.com


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