In first land sale since bankruptcy, archdiocese eyes auction of old St. Elizabeth campus in Kenner

Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

June 18, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

In its first move to raise funds through selling land since filing for bankruptcy protection, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is set to auction off a campus that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School moved out of last year, a church attorney said at a federal court hearing Thursday.

The former owner of New Orleans’ Fair Grounds race course, residential developer Bryan Krantz, offered to buy the vacant complex at 4119 St. Elizabeth Drive in Kenner for $1.8 million on May 26, according to court documents. But a committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case — which includes clergy abuse claimants — objected, saying there was no sign the property’s market value had been appraised before the archdiocese agreed to sell to Krantz.

“One concern we had was what basis was there (for the price), what marketing had been done, is there an appraisal?” committee attorney Davin Boldissar said during Thursday’s phone-in hearing.

Archdiocese attorney Mark Mintz told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Meredith Grabill that his clients now planned to auction the facility through a process allowing for the possibility of higher bids. Mintz said he would file the details surrounding that auction ahead of a hearing which Grabill tentatively set for June 25.

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