Construction crews continue to be a regular fixture at Cottonwood Plaza in Bishop and local officials say the project is moving along at its own pace.
While no updates on the high-profile property or plans involving possible tenants have been forthcoming from the owners in months, Bishop Public Works Director Dave Grah said improvements have been ongoing at the site at the corner of North Main and Yaney streets.
The property is owned by members of the Dennman family of Hawaii. During a December trip to Bishop, Peter and Susan Dennman vowed to work with the community to ensure that Cottonwood can serve as a local commerce and social hub. However, they have been unavailable for comment since returning home.
Bishop Public Services Officer Gary Schley, who is responsible for issuing permits for the city, said yesterday that “the project is moving along at its own pace. I get a lot of questions about it every day, but there just isn’t much (information) out on it right now.”
What the city does know is that repairs and upgrades to the Cottonwood Plaza fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems, which were permitted in October 2011 and October 2012, respectively, have been completed and construction crews have moved on to demolition work inside the front building.
Grah said the building work includes electrical upgrades, but other than that, “We don’t know much, to be honest,” Grah said.
Schley said that site improvement permits for improvements to drainage, city sidewalks and the exterior of the building were issued along with the interior demolition permits Jan. 25 of this year.
“It is an active job right now: they are moving along,” Schley said. “I anticipate that sometime this year they’ll get a building permit for tenant improvements.”
Grah said that the demolition work that is going on in the front building includes the removal of partition walls, counters and other features that a new tenant will need. Before making those improvements, the tenant will have to purchase a permit from the city.
“I know that there have been no applications for tenant improvements at this time,” Grah said.
In December, Peter and Susan Dennman said they wanted to reach out to the community to hear what improvements should be made to the plaza before it re-opens. The Dennmans tossed around suggestions of a name change, a new color scheme or even an overhaul of the plaza’s general appearance.