The Chico Mall is in the process of being sold for the second time in two years, this time to the second-biggest owner of malls in the nation.
The 15-year-old mall is part of a package deal with the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford, Ore. and Foothills Mall in Fort Collins, Colo., with the total price of the three approximating $221 million. The deal on the Chico Mall is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“We’re always looking at ways to better a property,” said David Keating, spokesperson for General Growth Properties. He said the company will spend two to three months studying the mall before it makes any major changes, which could include adding “new and exciting stores” and responding to customers’ and retailers’ desires.
Local mall management chose not to comment.
The owners of the Crazy Horse Saloon are fighting an arbitrator’s decision that they must shut down their 303 Main St. location and move out for good.
In a ruling submitted to Butte County Superior Court Judge Steven Howell for approval, retired Judge Thomas Hill determined that the club’s owners had broken their lease by lacking liability insurance that was acceptable to the landlord, but that the property owner is responsible for almost all repairs to the structure.
Frank Archer, the principal in Russian River Land Co., which owns the building, referred all questions to his Auburn attorney, Jay Zellmer, who said, “We hope to have it all resolved preferably within the next two weeks.”
After Archer pulled out of mediation, Crazy Horse owners Brian Buckley and Brandon Harris on June 5 sued to have the dispute arbitrated, claiming Russian River had breached the lease by not doing needed repairs.
In turn, the landlord claimed that the owners had violated the lease in any number of ways, from having a mechanical bull to letting beer trucks and tour buses disrupt neighboring businesses. Russian River introduced statements from 5th Street Clothing Company, Preston’s Shoe Repair and Gina Marie’s Italian restaurant saying that their businesses had suffered $10,000 in damage from leaks, originating from the men’s bathroom, the walk-in cooler and the satellite bar area.
After a three-day hearing in late September, which included a visit to the Crazy Horse, Judge Hill decided that the club’s lease should be terminated as of Oct. 6.
The Crazy Horse has leased the site since 1995; Russian River Land Co. bought the property in April 2001.
The club’s owners, represented by attorney Jeff Carter, in November petitioned to vacate the arbitrator’s decision. Carter said he hopes a judge will agree that the property owner’s “laundry list of defaults” was “trumped up,” and the only one that stuck—the insurance issue—was wrongly perceived. Carter said that the Crazy Horse has never been without insurance; but rather than the landlord wouldn’t accept a policy secured with a company based off-shore or either of two replacement policies.
Carter alleged that Russian River bought the property thinking it was a “turnkey operation” only to find that it needs $200,000 in repairs it now wants to pass along to tenants.
Buckley was ill and unavailable for comment, but his mother, Judy Buckley, said she expects the Crazy Horse will prevail in court and not be forced to move after all.