LOS FELIZ—At a hearing on Tuesday, September 15, a ruling was made in the legal battle between Katy Perry and local restaurateur/developer Dana Hollister over a historical Los Feliz convent. Judge James C. Chalfant decided that Hollister will be permitted to continue to rent the property for $25,000 per month until the dispute over the convent’s ownership is settled.
Though she is paying rent, Hollister is no longer allowed to occupy the property. She can visit it, but she must give all parties involved in the dispute 24 hours notice, except in the case she has to make emergency repairs.
Tuesday’s hearing was originally expected to be a rental auction, in which Perry and Hollister would bid in $3,000 increments, with the eventual winner getting to rent the property until the question of the convent’s ownership was resolved. Perry ended up backing out of the auction because she didn’t have any desire to rent the property. Her representatives were present at the hearing, but they did not speak.
The legal dispute began earlier this summer, when the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the former occupants of the convent, filed papers to block the sale to Katy Perry. The Los Angeles archdiocese had already agreed to sell the property to Perry, but the sisters were uncomfortable selling their convent to the pop singer considering the sexually explicit nature of her music videos.
In June, the sisters struck up a deal with Hollister, selling it to the developer for $15.5 million. At a July hearing, Judge Chalfant declared the sale invalid. Despite the nuns technically owning the convent, he ruled that the archdiocese does have control over the property. The archdiocese currently wants to sell the property to Perry for $14.5 million.
Hollister has been making the monthly $25,000 rent payments to the nuns for several months now, as she makes renovations to the premises. The rent money is going to the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s non-profit organization. According to Buzzfeed news, she now claims that she hasn’t decided what to do with the property yet, despite previous reports that she planned to convert the convent into a restaurant and boutique hotel. Starting November 1, Hollister will have to submit monthly reports to all involved parties, describing the repairs she is making to the property and their costs.
Several neighbors who live near the convent made appearances at Tuesday’s hearing, supporting Katy Perry’s side of the dispute. The neighbors said that they don’t want Hollister to build a hotel in their neighborhood because it would disrupt the atmosphere; they prefer that the property remains a private residence.
The next hearing in October, will include deliberations to determine who owns the convent.