“The buyers are chomping at the bit,” said Realtor Stan Smith of Pleasant Valley Associates, speaking of the new owners of the Cottonwood Plaza.
He said the current owner, Robert Crosby of Bishop, and the buyers, a private party represented by Stacy Bardfield of Mammoth Sierra Properties, are awaiting a report from the Lahontan Regional Water Board before moving ahead.
Smith said that the buyers are eager to beautify the property, to prove to the community and prospective tenants that the property is not sitting idle. The buyers, who currently operate two El Pollo Loco restaurants in Southern California, want to turn the former Burger King into their third flame-broiled chicken fast-food establishment.
Smith said Lahontan and a team from Syntac Engineering have locate two spots under the grounds of the property that will need to be “cured.” He explained that the ground is being tested for contaminates as the property was once home to a gasoline refueling station. Smith said the report is “in very good hands at Lahontan,” and still under review.
The report from Lahontan may require further mitigation work at the site and therefor result in delays, but Bardfield said by phone Monday that the buyers are still in escrow and are waiting the report to finalize a work plan.
The buyers had wanted to have the Burger King location re-modeled and ready to accept the 2010-11 ski season crowd, but with the testing, Smith said a spring or early summer 2011 opening is more likely.
The progress of filling the rest of the available commercial spaces is in “cruise control,” Smith said. He added that there are several valid inquiries from prospective tenants, pointing to the stack of calls pinned to the wall of his office.
He added that there is a large, established retailer looking at renting a 10,000-15,000 square-foot space.
The once thriving center, built in 1974, was vacated in January 2009 after a dispute between the land lessee and the building lessee. The dispute resulted in many tenants leaving or eventually being forced out. The plaza was spared demolition when the land owner, Crosby, gained control of the land and improvements in July 2009.