Education

Our Lady of Hungary Sold to Fostering Dreams

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — 545 Management Group Inc., a nonprofit corporation that purchased the former Our Lady of Hungary property on North Belle Vista Avenue two years ago, then launched a $400,000 capital campaign to transform the property and buildings into the Youngstown Heritage Center, has sold the property to Bob and Mary Noble’s Fostering Dreams organization.

“Our board of directors knew from day one that there was a lot of work ahead us to realize the vision of making this a new community anchor for Youngstown’s West Side,” said Bob Barko Jr., president of 545 Management Group.

The organization raised less than $25,000 of its campaign goal. Further, two back-to-back brutal Ohio winters overworked the church building’s antiquated heating systems, Barko said. Higher than usual gas bills and an annual real estate tax bill of more than $8,000 based on a more than $300,000 appraisal of the parcel’s value quickly depleted 545’s funds, prompting the decision to sell, he explained.

Working with Basinger Auction Services and American Real Estate Specialists, 545 Management Group set a sale price of $23,000 to meet the group’s financial needs including real estate taxes, utilities, property sales commissions and other expenses. If the sale price was not met by any group interested in the property, an auction was scheduled for June 3.

“Then, the owners of Fostering Dreams stepped forward with an offer,” Barko said. “Based on their past efforts, we feel our beloved former church will be in good hands and continue to be a community asset on Youngstown’s West Side.”

Fostering Dreams, a nonprofit, describes its mission as sponsoring events that “help foster children understand they are special, deserving, and to free them to dream, to hope, and to believe things can and will be better.” The organization will hold its Princess Gala fundraising event Aug. 16 at the Magic Tree in Boardman.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.