The longtime owners of the now-shuttered original Otto’s Bar B Que and Hamburgers on Memorial Dr. filed suit on Tuesday against their former broker, Cushman & Wakefield executive director David Cook, claiming that he failed to let them know about several offers to buy their property. As a result, the lawsuit claims, the owners ended up selling their real-estate holdings for — and settling into retirement with — only a third of the money they might have otherwise received. Marcus and June Sofka originally listed their restaurant at 5502 Memorial Dr. and some adjacent property with Cook in August 2007. Two months later, according to the suit, the Ponderosa Land Development Co. submitted a written offer for the land to Cook for $105 a sq. ft. But the Sofkas claim they didn’t hear about that offer until much later. Why wouldn’t Cook have given them such good news?
The legal filing, prepared by the offices of Jerry Eversole‘s attorney, Rusty Hardin, hints that Cook didn’t let his clients know about the Ponderosa offer — or others — because he was waiting for a different offer to come in, from a friend of his: apartment developer Marvy Finger. It claims that Cook told the Sofkas that Finger said he was going to make an offer for the 58,000-sq.-ft. property, and that he was working on it with him.
But an offer from Finger to buy the Sofkas’ property never came. Instead, the next year the market tanked. The Sofkas terminated their sales agreement with Cook in April 2009. Last May, using Moody Rambin as their broker, they ended up selling their property to Ponderosa — yes, the same company that had offered to pay more than $6 million for the property a few years earlier — for $38 a sq. ft., or $2,204,000. Ponderosa has since demolished the restaurant, an adjacent strip center, and Bibas Greek Pizza next door. In their place the company is currently putting up this 2-story, 22,800-sq.-ft. mixed-use strip center with a drive-thru, designed by Kirksey:
- Memorial Drive Mixed Use Development [The Retail Connection]
- Previously on Swamplot: Comment of the Day: A Demolition That Really Hits You in the Gut, Memorial Drive Scrape: The End of Otto’s and Bibas Greek Pizza, Otto’s Bar B Que Really Closing for Good This Time, Except of Course for the Hamburgers, The Finger, the Gun, and Other Secrets of the Park Memorial Sale, They’re Otto Here
Photo: Flickr users Bob & Lorraine Kelly. Rendering and site plan: The Retail Connection