A local website quotes members of an Irvine church as saying that they are buying the historic Santora Arts Building in downtown Santa Ana for $6.2 million, or $550,000 below the asking price.
Tom Greer, who identified himself as an accountant associated with the Newsong Church, told a reporter for the Voice of OC Monday afternoon that a sale is in escrow, according to a post published late Monday night.
But Michael Harrah, the Santora’s current owner, denied that any sale had reached that stage, declining further comment, the web post said.
Efforts to confirm the report were unsuccessful. Harrah couldn’t be reached and a receptionist at Newsong Church said leaders have stopped commenting.
“They just told me to tell everybody they’re not commenting right now,” a church worker who identified herself as Kelly said.
Gil Marrero of Voit Real Estate Services, which has the listing on the Santora building, likewise declined to comment: “I don’t speak about deals while I’m in the middle of it.”
The Santora Arts Building, located at North Broadway and West Second Street, is the ornate visual anchor of the Santa Ana Artists Village. Artists make up the bulk of the historic building’s tenants.
Harrah put the Santora building and the building that’s home to his Original Mike’s restaurant on the market to raise cash for his planned 37-story One Broadway Plaza tower. The asking price for the Santora building is $6.75 million. The Original Mike’s property is being offered for $10.5 million.
The Voice of OC cited a Facebook post by Newsong lead pastor Dave Gibbons as saying that the church is paying $6.2 million for the 1928, 51,000-square-foot building.
The post also said that the church wants to build a meeting facility with at least 300 seats to accommodate weekend services as well as training sessions during the week.