Trinity Broadcasting Network campus sale price revealed: $18.25 million

Orange Country Register/April 12, 2017

By Marilyn Kalfus

When Trinity Broadcasting Network announced in March that it sold its highly visible campus in Costa Mesa, the price was not revealed.

Now it’s public. The landmark building sold for $18.25 million, according to CoStar Group, a commercial property database.

The 65,000-square-foot, three-story building on the 6.19-acre campus is familiar to many beyond TBN’s audience for its brightly lit holiday displays along the 405 Freeway on Bear Street.

The property was assessed at $41.3 million in 2016, CoStar records show. But at the time of the sale, Chuck Noble, a principal of Lee & Associates, said the sale price was not in the realm of the assessment figure. Lee & Associates’ brokers handled the transaction.

Nate Daniels, TBN marketing director, said at the time the unique building was sold that Trinity was not experiencing financial difficulties.

Through the years, family disputes had led to public feuds and lawsuits, and the empire wound up in the hands of the founders’ son Matthew Crouch.

In 2016, a Register review of its tax filings showed Trinity’s revenue took a precipitous dive, from $207 million in 2006 to $121.5 million in 2014.
The company spent millions more than it took in for six straight years, according to the story. In 2014, revenue was $121.5 million but Trinity spent $162.6 million.

Trinity’s net assets – what’s left after liabilities are subtracted from assets – were a help, the story said. But that nest egg shrank from a high of $857.9 million in 2009 to $755.8 million in 2014.

TBN Founder Paul Crouch – who said he heard God tell him to start a Christian TV network nearly 40 years ago – died in 2013. His wife and co-founder, Jan Crouch, died in May 2016.

Trinity, describing its operation as the largest Christian-based broadcast television network in the world, said in March the facility had become “obsolete” as the organization grew  elsewhere around the U.S. and the globe.

The network sold the campus to Greenlaw Partners, the commercial property developer that revamped the Triangle Square mall. The new owners plan to turn it into office space.

TBN bought the building in 1996 for $6 million, according to CoStar records.

Last year, an ocean-view “trophy” home in Newport Beach tied to the Trinity Broadcasting Network sold for $5.15 million. The 9,467-square-foot house, set on over an acre in the guard-gated Harbor Ridge community, was listed at $5.25 million.

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