Antioch City Council Unanimously Approves Sale of Humphrey’s Building

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Photo by Beverly Knight Photography

On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council unanimously approved the sale of the Humphrey’s building to Sean McCauley Investments, INC (SMI).

The sale of the building, located at 1 Marina Plaza, was for $1.2 million where the City of Antioch no longer is paying for operating and maintenance experiences of the Humphrey’s restaurant building and that will now fall under Sean McCauley Investments.

Furthermore, SMI has also submitted a Letter of Intent with a restaurant operator for the site to bring it back to a working restaurant. The Letter of Intent is with Randy and Lynn Tei, DBA RLW Properties for the operation of a Zephyr Grill & Bar Restaurant.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno said he saw the potential of the sale with Zephyr Grill possibly becoming the occupant but had concerns if there was a backup plan or not.

McCauley stated his preference to work with the owners of Zephyr because of their relationship but said it would be his responsibility to find others if needed.

“To answer the question, with an operator like Zephyr’s doesn’t come in, we will find someone else. I am not worried about it. I don’t think there will be a problem finding a good operator, the problem is with the building because its old,” said McCauley. “it needs to be revitalized. A restaurant owner isn’t a contractor, they want to walk into a place and say this is my vision and what I want to do. When you walk in over there that is what the missing piece is. That is the reason I am here, to fill in that missing piece. So who do we get if Randy and Lynn don’t come through, I am not really worried about it, it’s my $1.2 million I earned and I am not going to let it sit around on the Delta.”

He added the only one who should be worried about it was him because it was his money.

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe wanted to make the motion to approve the sale because in his 5-years in being in Antioch, he has never seen the Humphrey’s building open.

Mayor Sean Wright said he was excited to see this project happen, but wanted to know why there was not a non-performance clause.

“Lets say in 3-years, and you still haven’t fixed it up, there is nothing protecting the city from you sitting on this forever,” said Wright. “As we finalize this, is there anyway to have some kind of assurance.”

McCauley replied “No” while adding they already had pulled permits, have fencing up and were ready to go.

Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock added that to put everyone at ease, “Sean MCauley Investments, if he says he is going to do it, he is going to do it. As you know, he already has lumber there and put a fence up. He will do what he says he is going to do. Every bit of my faith is in Sean.

The Council then approved the sale in a 5-0 vote.

 


More background Info from our Monday Report:

RLW has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry. They currently own and operate two restaurants in the Bay Area, Zephyr Grill & Bar in Brentwood and Zephyr Grill & Bar in Livermore; Ca. RLW is committed to revitalizing the site and operating an Antioch City Council Report November 14, 2017 Agenda Item# 4 3 elegant upscale restaurant. SMI was instrumental in RLW’s decision to launch this endeavor in the Rivertown District of Antioch. This will be their 3rd location in the Bay Area. They look forward to operating this 3rd restaurant for many years to come in Downtown Rivertown Antioch.

According to the Staff Report, One Marina Plaza The City of Antioch owns One Marina Plaza adjacent to the Antioch Marina overlooking the beautiful San Joaquin River. This site was formerly known as Humphrey’s on the Delta restaurant. The 12,432 square foot restaurant operated for many years until the ownership defaulted; the City petitioned and acquired the site through a “quiet title” action in 2014. In August of 2014 the City put out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), and received no responses to this solicitation. After the official solicitation ended staff made further efforts to market the site.

The following are actions that staff took to solicit interest:

  • Created a marketing flyer for the site and posted on the City website.
  • Uploaded flyer to International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) website.
  • Reached out to ICSC members who develop or own restaurants and franchises.
  • Reached out to “destination” restaurants or other restaurant looking to expand.
  • Held tours on site with restaurant owners and restaurant brokers.
  • Held meetings with County Health & Environmental, Delta Diablo Sanitary, developers, & restaurant designers.
  • Advertised the site with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Prior to the current SMI negotiations and PSA, staff negotiated with Dorothy Everett and John Jernigan DBA Everett and Jones Barbecue for 16 months. These negotiations did not result in a final agreement.

For the full agenda, click here.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Once again Antioch screws up with no non-performance clause. Mayor Wright waited far too long to ask his question. So typical of the city of Antioch who has a habit of giving themselves the short end of the stick.

    What is wrong with you people. Hire someone who knows what they are doing.

    • I agree, the City of Antioch just made it so anyone who buys this land does not have to perform. It’s all posturing by the City Council to hide the fact they have no idea what they are doing.

  2. The new owner has 1.2 million dollars invested into the project – do you people really think he isn’t going to improve the property and get it up and running ASAP?? The city has sat on this land and pumped too much our OUR money into it for far too long! This building is finally off of our backs – be thankful for that. We get a nice restaurant/bar option downtown again – be thankful for that as well. I wish the new owner and operators the best of luck and I look forward to the grand opening!

  3. Dont see this as major… land got sold. Few lessons learned. Fact that it took so long with previous council members speaks volumes as to their worth.

  4. I hope the city get full payment upfront, because no restaurant will EVER make it at that location. Antioch isnt Brentwood or Livermore like their other 2 location. There isnt enough customers with money to spend on fine dining around here to sustain that location. 90+% of restuarants fail within the 1st year of business and this will be a prime example of that. Aside from that, nobody wants to deal with the the homeless, the shady people and trash that prowl that area at night.

  5. I think the fact that it’s on the river might bring in people. But you are correct that over 90% of restaurants do fail in the first year. However, the new owners might have lower the price of food to more of what this area’s diners can absorb. After all, this is not Livermore.

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