Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic and influential Roxbury congregation, has agreed to sell the community center, once at the heart of its plans to grow and rejuvenate the neighborhood, in order to pay its creditors and emerge from bankruptcy.
In court papers filed Tuesday, the church said it would sell the partially built community center, a parking lot, and nearby storefronts, and would relinquish another property in Milton. The church owes nearly $5 million to OneUnited Bank of Boston and other creditors.
Charles Street already has an offer from Action for Boston Community Development Inc., a local nonprofit, to buy the community center for $2 million. ABCD wants to use the property for additional space for its teen and adult education programs.
Ross Martin, the church’s attorney, said the church could get other higher offers during an auction. A bankruptcy court judge, however, would need to approve the proposal.
Charles Street AME, founded in 1818 by freed slaves, filed for bankruptcy two years ago after OneUnited began foreclosure proceedings. The once cooperative relationship between the church and the bank, a black-owned financial institution, has turned acrimonious in recent years, exacerbated by the recent banking crisis.
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