Quizno’s closure leaves Incline plaza barren | SierraSun.com

Quizno’s closure leaves Incline plaza barren

Carrie Richards/Sun News Service

INCLINE VILLAGE ” The three-building complex barren of businesses and vehicle traffic, sitting at the southwest corner of Village and Tahoe boulevards isn’t a ghost town.

It’s just the Village Plaza.

The center in the heart of Incline Village became a little more desolate on Monday, as national sandwich-maker Quizno’s Subs closed for business, leaving the plaza with 11 of its 15 spaces vacated.

People stopping by the restaurant this week were greeted with a simple note: “Quizno’s at Incline has closed. Brett, Alejandro, Barrie, Zach and the staff would like to thank you for your business and friendship during the last four years … Riley too.”

The store’s manager, Brett Olson, said he shut down because of a contract disagreement with A.M. Davis Mercantile Co., a Nebraska-based commercial shopping center management company which owns the Village Plaza. He declined to comment further on the disagreement.

In a phone interview Friday, Theo Wright, legal counsel for A.M. Davis, declined to comment on Olson’s basis for closing the restaurant.

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“We have no comment while this matter is in litigation,” Wright said.

Wright didn’t elaborate on who initiated the litigation or what it concerns.

“It’s in litigation ” we have no further comment at this time,” Wright said. “We’re going to let the legal process take its course.”

Olson also declined further comment on Friday.

According to articles previously published in the Sun’s sister newspaper, the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, A.M. Davis acquired the center from local developer Vince Scott, chief operating officer of Scott Properties, in November 2005.

Since then, six businesses, including Quizno’s, have closed their doors. With 11 of the 15 spaces sitting empty, so are many of the parking spaces in the plaza parking lot. Besides parking for the four businesses, namely Starbucks, the rest of the lot, including underground spots covered from weather, sits unoccupied.

A spokesperson from Intero Real Estate, the firm Scott runs in Incline, on Friday said Scott had no comment on what has taken place since A.M. Davis took over the plaza.

According to past articles, Children’s clothier Lil’ Digs, adult outfitter Lodo Loft, the Tahoe Blue Gallery Wine Bar, smoothie bar Keva Juice and chocolatier Mr. Z’s Candy Co. all turned in their keys between March 2006 and March 2007.

Former tenants blamed A.M. Davis for having to close their respective businesses, arguing that rents were raised, vacancies were left unfilled and promises to improve the center’s foot traffic and signage were not kept, according to an April 1, 2007 Bonanza story written after Keva Juice and Mr. Z’s closed their doors.

“We’re aware of what’s happening and we’re working on it, that’s all,” said Wright in the April story. “We work with everyone as much as we can. We try to be understanding but it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”

As of Saturday, only four businesses remain in the Village Plaza.

Tanager Realty, Starbucks and Tahoe Lending Group of Nevada reside in the building closest to Village Boulevard, and First Centennial Title Co. is the lone business in the south building. The west building, where Quizno’s formerly operated, sits empty.

Susan Wahl, general manager at Starbucks, said she doesn’t see any reason why the center’s vacancies would tempt Starbucks to relocate as well.

“We’ve got great community support here,” Wahl said. “I’ve kind of heard rumors about the owners, but no, we have no intentions of leaving.”

Lyle Chamberlain is a broker for Sperry Van Ness, a Los Angeles-based commercial leasing company that formerly worked for A.M. Davis.

On Friday, Chamberlain confirmed he no longer is working for A.M. Davis helping to fill vacancies in the plaza. He said the decision to stop working for the Nebraska company came recently.

“I don’t want to comment on anything else,” Chamberlain said.

Whether or not A.M. Davis plans to hire another commercial leasing company is unknown, as Wright said A.M. Davis will remain mum until any litigation is resolved.