DETROIT (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Detroit announced it has sold four buildings in or close to downtown Detroit and will relocate its administrative offices sometime next year to another building downtown where it will be the anchor tenant.
The archdiocesan chancery building, which sits next to St. Aloysius Church, and an unoccupied two-story building next to it are being sold to the same buyer. The Gabriel Richard Building, a 10-story structure that houses many archdiocesan departments and offices, has been sold to another buyer. The archdiocesan print shop, in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, adjacent to downtown, is being sold to a private telecommunications firm.
Proceeds from the sales will net the archdiocese $3.2 million, the archdiocese said in an April 30 press release. The archdiocese added the funds will be used for repairs and maintenance on other properties.
Workers in the buildings will stay put for at least another year while its new quarters in the Capitol Park Historic District are being refurbished. The print shop will move to a former high school building on the grounds of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the city.
The move will reduce the available office space for archdiocesan offices from 150,000 square feet to no more than 50,000 square feet, depending on whether the archdiocese leases five floors or six at the new location.
About 185 employees will be affected by the move.
The archdiocese, in the announcement, characterized the move as “wise stewardship of its resources.”
“This move will bring us figuratively and literally closer together,” Detroit Archbishop Allan H. Vigneron told archdiocesan employees at an April 30 presentation detailing the plan. “Tremendous goodwill come from the easier interaction between and among all of us. Being under one roof will help us work more efficiently and with a greater sense of satisfaction.”
The sale of the Gabriel Richard Building and print shop facility were among several recommendations made to Archbishop Vigneron in 2009 to stabilize archdiocesan finances.
The archdiocese considered sites elsewhere in Detroit and outside the city to consolidate its offices and operations. But Archbishop Vigneron, with the support of the archdiocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors — priests who advise the archbishop on administrative and financial issues — decided to commit on a long-term basis to downtown Detroit.
“We have asked our parishes to plan their futures in terms of mission vs. maintenance,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “In making this move, we are giving a good example. Together, we refocus on our mission — sharing Christ in and through the church.”