The Fresno Buddhist temple at 1340 Kern St. in Chinatown has been sold after seven years on the market. Photo by Edward Smith

published on July 30, 2018 - 2:10 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

The 98-year-old Buddhist temple in Fresno’s Chinatown district has been sold after seven years on the market.

The 24,166 square-foot, three-story structure — built in a Japanese-style Craftsman design — was put up for sale in 2011 by the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist organization as part of the congregation’s move to north Fresno.

Mike Ryan, senior vice president and principal with the Colliers International real estate brokerage firm in Central California, represented the seller. He said it had been a long road to the recent sale, with interest from Buddhist groups from San Jose to New York, as well as for a Hmong community center. It had even been in escrow at one point, but lack of funding sunk all previous attempts to sell the property.

He said the transaction would allow the Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple to move forward on building a new main hall in north Fresno.

“I’m really happy for them to get this sold,” Ryan said.

Zack Kaufman with Colliers International was also listed as an agent for the seller, while Bazil Zin of Realty International represented the buyer, Mauyk Oo Dhamma Center.

Mauyk Oo Dhamma Center is a group practicing Burmese Buddhism led by a team of local physicians. Harold Lin, a Fresno physician, is listed as CEO of the nonprofit Mauyk Oo Dhamma Center corporation, according to a search of California Secretary of State records.

Lin was unable to comment on the transaction when reached briefly by phone Monday morning.

The congregation has already started holding services at the Mauyk Oo Dhamma Center, according to its Facebook page.

Listed on the Local Register of Historic Places, the temple actually traces its roots to 1899, when first-generation Japanese fieldworkers began gathering at the site to practice their religion. They completed a wooden structure for the temple in 1902 that was destroyed in a fire in 1919. The current concrete structure was completed in 1920.

The sale price of the temple was not disclosed. When it was originally listed in 2011, it was priced at $1.1 million, according to a Los Angeles Times article. A current online listing has it priced at $850,000.

The Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple has posted a notice on its website that it will host a “farewell service” to be held at the temple at 1340 Kern St. Saturday at 9 a.m.

Edward Smith contributed to this report.

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