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Local developer may open two new eateries
by Jill Lufrano
Mar 26, 2012 | 1663 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Dan McGee - Justin Quinton (left), owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres, and 1984 Development lawyer Garrett Gordon present their proposal to the City Council to redevelop two abandoned buildings that lie right beside the bar/restaurant.
Tribune/Dan McGee - Justin Quinton (left), owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres, and 1984 Development lawyer Garrett Gordon present their proposal to the City Council to redevelop two abandoned buildings that lie right beside the bar/restaurant.
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SPARKS — Downtown Victorian Square could soon host two new restaurants following the decision by the City Council on Monday to sign an exclusive agreement with local restauranteur Justin Quinton.

Quinton, owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres restaurant, has agree develop a plan to demolish two abandoned buildings at 916 and 918 Victorian Ave. as part of a redevelopment agreement with the city. Quinton told council members he plans to tear down the crumbling buildings and build as many as two restaurants, with a total footprint of 8,500 square feet.

Quinton has six months to develop a market analysis, schematic plan, projected development and operating budget, financing plan and budget schedule, among other development details to present to the city before the deal is sealed.

“I thank you for the city of Sparks for considering this opportunity,” Quinton said. “I’m definitely planning on seeing this project through to fruition.”

Mayor Geno Martini said he was pleased that someone was willing to invest and revitalize the downtown area.

“Thank you for your willingness to do something down there,” Martini said. “It’s good to see somebody’s willing to put some investment into the Sparks community. Believe me we really appreciate it.”

Councilwoman Julia Ratti said she had an opportunity to visit the abandoned property and was encouraged by Quinton’s plan.

“I fully support this whole heartedly and I wish you a lot of success,” Ratti said.

The city’s Redevelopment Agency acquired the properties in 2008 from Pacific Pawnbroker’s, Inc. as part of a transaction necessary to acquire another Pacific Pawnbroker’s property formerly located at 1246 Victorian Ave. The building at 1246 was torn down to build a road and the intention with the other properties was to identify a new use or find a redevelopment purpose.

Quinton’s Cantina Los Tres Hombres restaurant is located in an adjacent building and he approached the city for the exclusive opportunity to redevelop the buildings. If the proposal is approved by the Redevelopment Agency, Quinton will own the properties and redevelop them accordingly.

The proposed negotiating agreement approved Monday grants Quinton’s development company, 1864 Real Estate Development LLC, up to six months to prepare and submit for city and redevelopment agency consideration a development proposal for the property.

The agreement’s terms obligate the city and agency to negotiate exclusively with the Quinton regarding the possible transfer, disposition or use of the property for the term of the agreement. The agreement does not grant the Quinton the right to acquire the property, according to staff reports.

The buildings are in poor shape and in need of extensive electrical and plumbing repairs, according to Armando Ornelas, Sparks community services director. The buildings do not meet federal handicap-accessibility or earthquake safety requirements. The city would need to spend $150,000 to $200,000 to repair the buildings to bring the buildings up to modern building codes.

Quinton told city planners he believes all or the majority of the existing buildings should be demolished in favor of a new, larger structure at least 5,000 square feet and possibly as large as 8,500 square feet. Quinton’s initial intent is to build and lease the space to a third-party, full-service restaurant(s), with a bar(s), though he may ultimately want to directly operate a restaurant-bar on the site. Quinton’s preliminary estimated development budget, exclusive of land costs, is approximately $1 million, according to staff reports.
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