By BARRY LANK
EAGLE ROCK – It looks like the Bekins estate won’t become a religious retreat after all – despite support from the neighborhood council and the intercession of pop star Katy Perry.
The 3-acre estate on Hill Drive – built in the 1920s by Martin Bekins, founder of the Bekins moving company – is back on the market at an asking price of nearly $6 million. The property is being shopped around after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles abandoned plans to acquire the estate and turn it into a retreat for priests and bishops.
“The property was determined to not be an acceptable replacement for the House of Prayer, as approval of the necessary conditional use permits and entitlements seemed unlikely,” said Adrian Alarcon, the director of Media Relations for the archdiocese. “As a result, the transaction is not proceeding.”
The Bekins estate would have replaced the church’s current House of Prayer in Los Feliz – the Cardinal Timothy Manning House of Prayer on Waverly Drive.
Last December, the project seemed on track, with the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council recommending that the Planning Department issue a conditional-use permit needed to convert the residential property into a retreat. The estate on Hill Drive would have been bought by a limited liability company connected to pop singer Katy Perry, who would have then donated the Bekins estate to the church, gaining Perry a potential tax write-off, according to the Glendale News Press.
But the Kvassay family trust, which owns the property, was deeply divided on the matter. Trustee Robert Kvassay spoke in favor of selling the Bekins estate in this deal, while two of his brothers opposed it, saying the sanctuary might “become a haven for troubled priests,” said the Glendale News Press at that time. Family members shouted at each other during the meeting, the News-Press said.
Alarcon said the archdiocese does not currently have another property in mind for a new retreat.
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