Concordia University Chicago

Started by D. Engebretson, April 13, 2022, 08:01:17 AM

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Quote from: Dave Benke on April 14, 2022, 05:11:34 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on April 14, 2022, 04:17:24 PM
Quote from: Mark_Hofman on April 14, 2022, 02:17:03 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on April 14, 2022, 12:43:24 PM
Quote from: Augsburg Catholic on April 14, 2022, 09:24:41 AM
The only problem with selling the IC is that the LCMS does not own the land, only the building. The land is leased and and the value in an age of working from home tenuous at best.

I'm thinking here about the costs of keeping properties open. Whatever it costs to maintain the IC and lease the land should be multiplied by 5 and by ten to see the long term costs of holding on. The same needs to be done for under used properties throughout the synod in case a consolidation plan would save money.

Although sale might seem small in the current environment, the results of the sale plus the savings from reduced costs might be substantial. I'm sure someone is crunching the numbers this way to get the big picture.

In the process of closing down the I.C. and selling the building, perhaps some thought and care might also be shown to what seems to be the invisible people serving the LCMS Foundation and Concordia Plan Services, who would be left vocationally homeless.  Together those two entities occupy as much if not more square footage in the International Center as the "corporate" side of the LCMS.  Oh, and Worldwide KFUO too since it was relocated off of the seminary campus due to irreparable facilities.

Mark, when I started working at CPH, the building was full. Then they started to downsize. By the time I left, there was nearly an entire floor empty and they were talking about downsizing again. They were trying to bring synod entities in to their open spaces to help consolidate expenses.

Experience tells me there is a lot of empty real estate maintained by the synod. Consolidating and downsizing seem like wise steps to take especially where one is paying leases, maintenance, and property taxes. I'm not talking about eliminating necessary functions or properties. I'm thinking of sustainability.

I think Mark is saying that the building is in full use.  Why move, then, especially since the ground underneath the property belongs to somebody else?

Stuff happens; things change.  My office for 24 years on the campus of Concordia Bronxville is now the property of Iona College.  It's a painful thought, but sic transit gloria mundi.
I've been to the New and Improved Atlantic District Offices which are right there on 38th and Broadway in New Yawk City.  Sweet suites and - who knew? - less costly than the Bronxville location, by a lot.  24 minutes by LIRR at peak hours from my stop.  I know this because my cardiologist has an office near the AD offices.

Having said "sic transit gloria mundi" I think selling colleges off is a really, really bad idea from the spiritual and belonging perspective of the LCMS folks in that part of the world.  At least that's our experience in the 3 districts around B'ville and all the way down the coast where Bronxville grads are often elected District President.  Other agendas may prevail.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

Rev. Engelbrecht:

I have my own personal opinions about optimal space utilization of the facilities resources in St. Louis, some based on my own first-hand experiences with things like the Christian Brothers campus in Clayton. But it's not my place or vocation to opine about what the owners (the membership of the LCMS) should or shouldn't do. Depreciation of capital assets like buildings happens, and choices will have to be made about the usability of stuff that has or is already reaching the end of its serviceable life.

What I wanted to point out is that decisions about selling off or closing down buildings sometimes impacts more than one entity. A hundred years from now, our great-grandchildren may be excoriating all of us for being far too pessimistic, God-willing, and bemoaning that we didn't keep (steward well) what God had already handed to us at a much, much lower cost than what building new will cost the Church. God grant that's true. And assumptions (the things we sincerely hold to be true whether they really are or not) are a poor guide for decision-making.

If there is empty space, why not simply lease it to others - even others outside the church - until the demand for the space returns or there is an economically compelling reason to relocate to more usable (and expandable) space?

Rev. Benke,

Thank you for stepping forward in a sincere attempt to restate my original comment in a positive light.  The building, at least for corporate Synod (LCMS, Inc.) is currently not in full use. Foundation and Concordia Plans are, and CPS has even expanded from the full first floor up to using part of the second floor. But a massive reduction-in-force back in 2020 emptied out many workstations. Deaths, retirements and other attrition during the COVID lockdown compounded the emptiness. God, in his infinite wisdom, used all of that to perform what amounted to a financial reset with an outcome that (your?) Synod office is in the best financial shape it's probably ever been in, and the units are planning to restore ministry capacities where demand for them is documented. Corporate LCMS is not crippled and looking for a smaller footprint. It is, as a good friend and author wrote, "Bounce(ing) Back Higher" coming out of COVID, thanks be to God. And if that can happen at, of all places, "the (infamously named) Purple Palace", it can happen in other places too.

I'll bow out now.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Peace to you both as the downsizing continues.

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