University to lease campus through May
by Peter Burke
Apr 26, 2012 | 1138 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The half-completed cafeteria stands partly-rusted on the Bethany University campus. Construction was stopped before the campus was vacated by Bethany last June. Press-Banner file photo
The half-completed cafeteria stands partly-rusted on the Bethany University campus. Construction was stopped before the campus was vacated by Bethany last June. Press-Banner file photo
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Olivet University has signed a lease to remain on the Bethany University campus in Scotts Valley through the end of May.

The agreement came shortly after escrow failed to close in Olivet’s attempt to purchase two large properties in Scotts Valley.

Olivet University, Olivet University, a fledgling Christian institution, agreed to purchase the campus in August and began classes in September after the grounds were put up for sale in June 2011.

The Bethany Corporation of the Assemblies of God, Northern California-Nevada District, had closed Bethany University and was looking to unload the property.

Escrow failed to close several times, however, as Olivet asked for extensions while it tried to package financing of the Bethany Campus with a deal for the nearby Borland Campus.

Olivet officials said they hoped to use both campuses for their school.

On April 17, Olivet missed a fourth deadline to close escrow, and the Bethany Corporation did not grant another extension. The two sides agreed that Olivet would lease the campus through the end of May.

The Bethany Campus remains a substantial burden for the Assemblies of God.

According to its audited financial statements, the Assemblies owed more than $10 million related to the operation of Bethany University, including $8.22 million in secured debt on the real property of the campus at the end of 2011. That debt has climbed to as much as $15 million this year, according to a recent report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Olivet had agreed in principal to pay the debt as its purchase price, but Olivet officials would not disclose who the investors were.

According to public tax records, Olivet — then fully based in San Francisco — had an operating budget of just more than $2 million in 2010.

The University was founded in San Francisco by David J. Jang, a member of the World Evangelical Alliance North American Council and the founder of UK-based Christian Today news.

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