ECHO PARK — The L.A. Business Journal reports that Fred Afari, owner of the Chapman loft building in Downtown L.A., paid nearly $18 million to buy a large collection of properties near Echo Park Lake from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, with plans to construct “high-end multifamily” buildings on vacant lots.
The 14 properties in the church portfolio include more than 60 apartment units spread over several buildings, empty lots on Glendale Boulevard and Park Avenue facing Echo Park Lake and a former printing building on Alvarado Street. The sale does not include several significant church landmarks and properties, including the domed Angelus Temple across from Echo Park Lake and the Sunset Boulevard office tower that houses the church headquarters, a Citibank branch and several commercial tenants.
It’s not clear what prompted the church, founded by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, to sell off the portfolio but the church has faced numerous financial challenges and shakeups in recent years. The Echo Park properties were amassed over the decades after McPherson, known as Sister Aimee, opened Angelus Temple in the early 1920s.