The Chinese for Christ Church at 2713-2715 Prince Street in the Elmwood district is up for sale, priced at $2,250,000.
The church, which is sited on a 20,000 square foot parcel and comprises two principal buildings, was originally built in the early 1920s for the Christian Science Church, according to listing agent Jon Vicars. A community center was added in 1941, as well as several other additions, and the Chinese Church for Christ bought the property in 1974.
Although located in a residential neighborhood close to College Avenue, the church is zoned for use as a church or potentially a school. It is conceivable, however, that a developer might buy it and convert the buildings into condos or apartments. The church is not listed for conservation, according to Vicars.
Calls to the church’s pastor, Rev. Kenneth P. Carlson, were not returned. Vicars said he believes the sale has been prompted for a need for funds for other purposes. He added that, given the current economic climate, the price is negotiable. The current occupants could remain at the church if a new owner were to lease it back to them.
Berkeley has a significant number of churches, but several of them have being sold or developed recently as congregations decline or need to raise funds.
Last year, a Korean Church on the corner of Alcatraz and Benvenue on the Berkeley-Oakland border was demolished to make way for six craftsman-style townhomes which are due to go on the market by year-end. And the Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Berkeley listed for sale in 2007 for $1,700,000, but the 1879 building is landmarked which precludes any significant changes to its architecture.