The Real Deal Los Angeles

Church of Scientology buys longtime rental for $32.5M

The organization uses the Commerce warehouse for printing and distribution

August 01, 2016 12:00PM
By Cathaleen Chen

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Famous scientologist Tom Cruise and the property at 6130 East Sheila Street (credit: CoStar, inset c/o CBS)

Famous Scientologist Tom Cruise and the property at 6130 East Sheila Street (credit: CoStar, inset c/o CBS)

Updated, 9:15 a.m., Aug. 8: Thetans, rejoice — the Church of Scientology has acquired yet another piece of L.A. real estate.

The organization purchased a nearly 185,000-square-foot industrial warehouse in Commerce for $32.5 million in June, The Real Deal has learned.

The seller was the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a mutual insurance company based in New York.

Built in 2008, the XEBEC Sheila Industrial Center at 6130 East Sheila Street is a single-story Class A structure. The religious group had been a longtime tenant of the property, which is uses for printing and distribution, and it already brandishes the Scientology logo.

The Church of Scientology is known for its vast portfolio of properties around the world. While it’s unclear the precise number of properties it owns, representatives told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011 that the church had purchased more than 60 properties globally in the span of five years.

In L.A. alone, the group owns at least two dozen buildings, including its sprawling, cerulean-hued storefront at 4810 Sunset Boulevard. As of last year, $1.5 billion out of the church’s book value of $1.75 billion is tied up in real estate holdings, author of the blog the Scientology Money Project told Fortune.

The IRS revoked Scientology’s tax exemption privileges in 1967, but reportedly reinstated it in 1993 after the group launched an retaliatory campaign that included lawsuits and church-funded investigations.

A Scientology spokesperson told TRD that there are “millions of Scientologists internationally, with approximately 425,000 in the Los Angeles area alone.” The latest American Religious Identification Survey found that about 50,200 Americans identify as Scientologists.

This article has been updated to reflect the latest ARIS survey number of Scientologists in the U.S.