Presbytery of Chicago leaders have voted not to consider a nonprofit group’s $4.5-million backup offer to buy the Saugatuck Presbyterian Camps while a developer’s $10-million option on the land is still viable.
The leader of that group says not at least talking is a mistake.
The Presbytery, a consortium of close to 100 Chicago area churches, has tried since 2009 to sell the camps at 631 Perryman St. to satisfy debts, many linked to $11 million in loans to settle 1990’s sexual abuse claims.
Its assembly voted last December to sell the 130-acre Lake Michigan-fronting parcel, considered its largest asset, to developer David Barker for $10 million, calling his bid “by far the largest offer” it had received and “more than adequate to pay the debt.”
Barker, a former Saugatuck-Douglas developer who raises equity for the Shangren Corp., has outlined plans to create 12 two-plus-acre lots on 36.8 acres overlooking Lake Michigan, served by roads and utilities, selling for close to $2 million each.
Possible uses for the inland acres remain open, Barker says.