The Real Deal Chicago

Archdiocese of Chicago to use proceeds from land sale to pay sex abuse victims

The church is getting a $110M windfall from its sale of a parking lot for a new skyscraper project
February 10, 2019 12:00PM

Cardinal Blase Cupich, One Chicago Square (Credit: Getty)

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s $110 million sale of a Holy Name Cathedral parking lot will cover only a fraction of what the church owes to victims of clergy sex abuse.

Financial reports and interviews show the archdiocese owes more than $200 million, mostly related to sex abuse claims, and could end up owing another $100 million for pending and future claims, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The church agreed to sell the lot across from Holy Name in 2017 to JDL Development for its One Chicago Square skyscraper project. Chicago developer Sterling Bay recently joined the project, and JDL’s Jim Letchinger told the paper they hope to finalize the sale and start work in the next couple months.

Sources said the church might eventually need to tap additional funding sources, such as selling more properties, in order to meet its obligations related to sex abuse victims and priests’ pensions. Records show numerous church-owned parcels in the Chicago area have been sold or leased in recent years, including land and former churches and schools, and it is mulling selling the cardinal’s mansion in the Gold Coast. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien