Church of Scientology buys Miami office for $7M from U.S. Century Bank

Discussion in 'Media' started by DeathHamster, May 11, 2012.

  1. DeathHamster Member
  2. RightOn Member

    another empty org on the horizon
    Need some Spanish speaking Anons to warn this neighbood that COS is about to skulk into that neighborhood and try to "educate" the residents
    • Like Like x 1
  3. DeathHamster Member

  4. RightOn Member


    was on ESMB
  5. Anonymous Member

    That's almost honest.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RightOn Member

    now that the building was bought by over regged, deluded and brown noser scilons, the new target is raw meat in Miami. Education is key before they move in
  7. DeathHamster Member

    The next step to is soak them for the money to refurbish the place.
  8. RightOn Member

    yeah maybe they won't get enough to refurbish and it will remain empty like others.
  9. Anonymous Member

    Most fitting that the building they want is a bank.
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mighty Miami: Well, that postulate didn’t stick. | Mike Rinder

    Unless it was that they would shrink from their current size and still be struggling to pay the utility bills 40 years later.


    It seems appearances can be deceiving.


    Sad. 35 years and still haven’t come close to keeping their promise.

    And what is even sadder — they keep talking about this as if it is something to be proud of and is really going to motivate people.


    • Like Like x 1
  11. Sockofleas Member

    35 years?

    Was that with or without using their super powers?
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado Joins Scientology Chief David Miscavige to Open Center

    By Tim Elfrink, Miami New Times, May 1, 2017


    If there's one issue Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado has staked his career on, it's unwavering opposition to the human rights abuses in communist Cuba. The same goes for former GOP Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

    So it's more than a little jarring that both Regalado and Diaz-Balart spent Saturday enthusiastically opening a Miami megacenter for Scientology, a religion with well-documented claims of serious human rights abuses. The pair even shared a stage with David Miscavige, the church's chief, who has been accused of violently beating followers and is the subject of regular gruesome claims in an ongoing A&E series.

    “To me, the Church of Scientology is very simple. You learn, you work, you think positive and you help people," Regalado said, according to Scientology's official website. "For that, and many another reasons, you are a good fit for our city."

    The church doesn't say exactly where its new center is located other than "north Coconut Grove," but city property records show Scientologists — who have long run a storefront operation on Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables — bought a $7 million building at 2230 S. Dixie Hwy. five years ago. The building looks similar to the one in photos taken at the opening event.


    Given the similarities pointed out by the Times, Regalado and Diaz-Balart's appearance at the opening ceremony is especially curious. Get a load of Diaz-Balart's statements, as recounted by the Scientology website:

    "When I went to speak with your Human Rights Division, you didn’t say, ‘We want you to help us.’ You asked, ‘How can we help?’" Diaz Balart said. "Your work is not just theoretical. It’s real — very real. And I have heard back from those who suffer the brutality of oppression, that the materials you distribute are ‘like a breath of fresh air.’ Inherent in every human being is the need to be free. We all need freedom just as much as we need air to breathe. And your church and your programs greatly contribute to breathing freedom into people’s lives.”

    Contrast that sentiment with Wright's reporting, which detailed disturbing allegations such as routine beatings, forced divorces, separations from family members, and even "the Hole": a double-wide trailer parked in remote California where dozens of dissenters were allegedly locked away without beds or furniture and subjected to cold group showers.

    Regalado, meanwhile, noted, "Miami is a gateway to the American dream. And you have now opened those gates by transforming a cold, sterile building into a vibrant center."

    Neither Regalado nor Diaz-Balart immediately responded to a phone call and email from New Times seeking comment on their appearance at the center's opening.

    Here's the complete article:
  14. Quentinanon Member

    Hey Leah Abady, in 1980 the term "Ideal Org" didn't exist in the scientology lexicon.
    And so many Republicans in the U.S. seem to be living in walled gardens of reality, devoid of historical fact.
    Kind of like the way so many Cubans did living under Fulgencio Batista in the 1950's.
    This will not end well.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado: Scientology Is "Legitimate Religion," Just Like Catholicism

    By Tim Elfrink, Miami New Times, May 1, 2017


    Not many politicians are willing to get on a stage with Scientology leader David Miscavige and heap praise upon his organization. After all, Miscavige is at the center of a firestorm of abuse allegations, and his church has been accused of widespread human rights violations.

    So why did Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado decide to show up with Miscavige this past Saturday to inaugurate Scientologists' new megacenter on South Dixie Highway? He says the answer is simple: Regalado tells New Times that he views Scientology the same as any other religion accused of wrongdoing.

    "People criticize the Adventists because they're strict, the Jehovah's Witnesses because they're different, and the Catholics because priests abused children," Regalado says. "I'm a practicing Catholic, and I don't leave because of some abusive priests. They are a legitimate religion."

    Regalado says he's aware of the allegations made against the church, many of which were spelled out in detail in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright's recent book, Going Clear. Wright reports on credible tales of the church forcing dissident members to divorce, locking members away under grueling conditions, and using violence to obtain control. Wright reports about dissidents who say they witnessed Miscavige himself striking and beating staff members "as many as a hundred times." (The church has disputed nearly every point in Wright's book.)

    But the mayor says he discounts those claims for two reasons: The church is allowed to operate as a religion by the Internal Revenue Service, and no criminal charges have been filed against Miscavige or other leaders. (Of course, as Wright reports in his book, Scientologists lost that tax-exempt status in 1967 and only won it back in 1993 after filing more than 2,000 lawsuits against the federal government, tying it up in decades of expensive litigation.)

    "They are protected by the Constitution," Regalado says. "They are a religion. I've heard of allegations, but I've never seen people arrested."

    Regalado praised Scientologists for renovating the $7 million building they purchased in 2012 at 2230 S. Dixie Hwy. and for offering to volunteer around Miami.

    "They took an abandoned building, they fixed it, and they have a beautiful temple now," he says. "They came and offered their church members to do any volunteer work in the city in Miami of our choosing. They want us to tell them where to volunteer and what to do."

    Asked whether the abuse claims within the church clash with his longstanding activism against similar abuses in Cuba and Venezuela, Regalado responded that the cases are different.

    "The fact is that human rights issues in Cuba have been condemned by the UN," Regalado says. He suggests Scientology's problems haven't been as well established and adds that Scientologists "have a foundation that is helping dissidents in Cuba." (Regalado didn't specify which foundation; his spokesperson hasn't responded to a question asking for more details.)

    So why are so few other politicians willing to stick up for Scientology these days? Before Regalado's appearance this past weekend, then-Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's 2012 public event with Scientology's leaders might have been the last by a major city mayor.

    Regalado has an answer for that fact too.

    "I guess I'm different," he says.

  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology opens a massive new center in Coconut Grove

    By Rene Rodriguez,, May 1, 2017


    A ribbon cutting for a religious organization rarely generates much media attention. But Saturday’s opening celebration of a massive new Church of Scientology center in Coconut Grove was an exception.

    Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado was among the 2,000 invitation-only guests at the 50,000-square-foot facility. Also in the crowd were former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart and David Miscavige, Scientology’s polarizing ecclesiastical leader, who has been accused of using physical violence against some of the church’s members.

    Regalado says the church approached him several months ago with plans for the building, which were approved for meeting all zoning requirements.

    “They offered to do volunteer projects that would benefit the city,” Regalado says. “It’s a beautiful building and it’s a huge investment. I was also informed that through their foundation, they are helping dissidents in Cuba.”

    The Church of Scientology is protected by the U.S. Constitution and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit institution, Regalado said.

    “I’m aware of the criticism,” he said. “But it is not my job to investigate those charges. That would be the job of the court and the authorities. To me everything about the church is legal, they are protected by the federal government and they want to be part of the community and help Miami’s poor neighborhoods, so they should be welcomed.”

    The Miami Herald and other local media were not invited to the opening. Erin Banks, public affairs representative for the Church of Scientology, said it’s standard practice for parishioners to get a first look at new churches.

    The four-story building (plus another three levels of covered parking) at 2200 S. Dixie Hwy. was purchased by the church in 2012 for $7 million and completely renovated for another $8 million. The facility, redesigned by the architectural firm Gensler, features a state-of-the-art chapel, multimedia interactive booths, counseling rooms and a café.

    The new center is part of an international expansion, following recent church openings in Auckland and Tokyo, among other cities. “We’ve experienced a bigger growth in the past 10 years than in the previous 50 years combined,” Banks said. “That expansion warranted a new facility in Miami.”

    The new building joins the existing Church of Scientology in Florida, which was established in 1957 at 120 Giralda Ave. in Coral Gables. Scientology spokesperson Nick Banks said the church’s parishioner base in Miami is “upwards of 10,000,” although exact membership figures are difficult to pin down. One survey by the American Religious Identification Survey pegs the U.S. total at 25,000.

    Erin Banks says the new building will be open seven days a week and use a staff of 165 church volunteers, who will receive a monetary compensation for their service.

    The Church of Scientology, which is headquartered in Clearwater, has been the subject of great scrutiny for alleged human rights violations and mistreatment of its members. In his 2013 book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief,” which was later adapted into a documentary by HBO Films, author Lawrence Wright recounted institutionalized physical and psychological abuse of church members.

    Scientology was founded in 1952 by L. Ron Hubbard, a writer of science-fiction novels who melded spirituality and technology into a belief system that relied on scientific principles to guide its followers.

    Banks said the new Miami facility is an “ideal” church, which means it is large enough to accommodate non-Scientology gatherings and events.

    “Everything in this facility is available for the community to use,” she said. “We want this church to become a hub for Miami, and in addition to our existing drug education, human rights and moral programs, we want people to bring their community initiatives in here and partner with us.”

    Monday afternoon, jubilant singing could be heard coming from inside the chapel, where a religious service was being held. People wandered around the building’s main entrance on the fifth floor, viewing videos and perusing books. A working e-meter — a religious Scientology artifact used to help diagnose people’s emotional or mental distress — was on display.

    “They are officially considered a religion,” Regalado said. “We cannot say no to something that is protected by the Constitution. They brought a lot of volunteers into the city and we’re always looking for people who want to do something good without asking for anything in return.”

    Regalado said he has attended the grand opening or dedications of several churches in the past, including Our Lady of Lebanon in Miami and the Iglesia Adventista de los Peregrinos in Hialeah, but those appearances didn’t receive any media attention.

    “Also, there haven’t been that many because churches aren’t like restaurants: A new one doesn’t open every day,” he said. “But I never thought attending the opening of the Church of Scientology would generate much controversy. Maybe if I had cut the ribbon at a massage parlor, people would have questioned that.”

  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology “disconnects” with Coral Gables location for $6M

    Buyer plans restaurant/retail project

    By Katherine Kallergis, The Real Deal


    After about three years on the market, the Church of Scientology has cut ties with its Coral Gables location of more than 40 years and sold the building for $5.8 million, or nearly $360 per square foot.

    The buyer is 120 Giralda LLC, according to a press release. The entity is controlled by Marc and Barry Schwarzberg of Boca Raton. Patrick Kelly of RESF, who represented the buyers, said they mostly invest in multifamily properties in Broward County and in Coral Gables. For now, he said the plan is to convert the office building into restaurant/retail space. Kelly declined to identify the buyers of the all-cash deal.

    The building, which housed the original Coral Gables Post Office, is on “Restaurant Row” at 120 Giralda Avenue. It was on the market for $5.7 million, and received multiple offers, but didn’t sell until the controversial church moved into its newly built out location at 2200 South Dixie Highway. The terms of the deal were that a buyer would let the church stay in its Coral Gables building rent-free until the other building was ready, broker Danny Zelonker confirmed. “And that’s why it was on the market for three years,” Zelonker said.

    Zelonker and Isabel Fine of Real Miami Commercial Real Estate represented New York-based broker Doug Furer of Mariner Real Estate Services on behalf of the Church of Scientology in the $5.8 million deal, which closed on Friday.

    Continued at
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Former Church of Scientology building in Coral Gables will be converted to retail and restaurants

    By Brian Bandell, South Florida Business Journal


    The former home of the Church of Scientology in downtown Coral Gables will be converted to retail and restaurant space by its new owner.

    Maven Real Estate bought the building at 120 Giralda Ave. for $3.9 million in May. At about the same time, the Church of Scientology opened in a larger building on Dixie Highway.

    The new owners will convert the building, dating to 1947, into 17,000 square feet for retail and restaurants after significant renovations.

    Continued at
  19. Quentinanon Member

    In the late 1970's, the Miami Morg on Giralda Ave. was at it's high point of "bodies in the shop" to use one of Hubbard's peculiar metaphors.
    Ron's con was at it's zenith. All happened before the internet and those days are gone forever.

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