LOS ANGELES (AP) — A businesswoman will continue to pay $25,000 a month plus maintenance expenses on a hilltop convent that Los Angeles' Catholic archbishop wants to sell to pop singer Katy Perry, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant accepted an offer from entrepreneur Dana Hollister, who wants to use the convent for a hotel and restaurant project, to make the payments to a small order of elderly nuns while lawsuits over the sale of their former home are pending.
Hollister had agreed to purchase the property from the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but Chalfant voided the sale in July. She has agreed to vacate the property and notify the archdiocese and Perry's representatives if emergency repairs are needed.
Additional court hearings will determine who controls the property's sale. Two of the nuns who lead the order object to selling their former home to Perry.
The "Roar" singer did not attend Tuesday's hearing but was represented by two lawyers.
Chalfant noted that Perry was not willing to pay rent on the convent while Hollister and the archdiocese fight in court, and the judge scoffed at the archdiocese's estimate that the property could fetch $75,000 a month in rent.
"This property is a nice property, but it's kind of a white elephant property," Chalfant said. "I can't imagine anybody would pay $75k a month to live in it. It needs work."
Hollister was in the process of renovating the convent when she was sued by the archdiocese earlier this year.
The Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary have owned the property in the Los Feliz neighborhood for more than 40 years, but they haven't lived in the convent for several years. Only five sisters, ranging from ages 77 to 88, remain, and their order has bickered with the archbishop for years on various issues.
The property was bestowed to them by a devout Catholic who wanted the nuns to keep him in their prayers.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .