The Archdiocese of Milwaukee recently sold land in Franklin and a building on Milwaukee’s west side in transactions totaling $9 million.
The property sales will allow the archdiocese to eliminate the debt it incurred related to its Chapter 11 reorganization in 2011.
According to state records, the archdiocese sold 228 acres of vacant land on West Ryan Road in Franklin to Franklin Public Schools for $4 million. The land, which stretches from roughly 80th to 92nd streets, will provide space for “future schools and athletic fields,” and for use by the district’s Community Education and Recreation Department, FPS spokesman Chad Kafka said.
In another transaction, the archdiocese sold its property at 151 S. 84th St. in Milwaukee, the longtime home of St. Charles Youth & Family Services, Inc., to the agency for $5 million.
The history of the St. Charles site traces back to 1920, when Milwaukee County sold 57 acres of land at what is now South 84thStreet, to the St. Charles founders – a group that included Milwaukee’s fourth Archbishop, Sebastian Messmer, and members of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. At the time, it was the anchor site for what was then St. Charles Boy’s Home, a facility for boys in the juvenile justice system.
Today, it’s a nonprofit human services agency guided by Catholic principles, and has locations in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha and Dane counties.
Proceeds from the sale of the two properties will allow the archdiocese to pay off a loan that provided cash for its bankruptcy settlement, as well as a mortgage on the Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center (formerly the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center) in St. Francis, according to an archdiocese spokesperson.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011, and in 2015 it reached a $21 million settlement to compensate victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
The property sales will also allow the archdiocese to replenish the Therapy Fund it created for providing therapy and counseling for survivors of clergy sexual abuse of minors, the spokesperson said.