The old Kim's Restaurant building sold Wednesday for $675,000, a local commercial real estate broker confirmed.
Details are sketchy, however, because the new owner kept a low profile during the negotiations, said Tom Fischer of Coldwell Banker Commercial NW in Medford.
The new owner of the building in south Medford is an investment group backed by a Portland development firm that — among other things — helps Chinese and Korean investors.
Marsha Henry of the Realty Trust Group in Portland, who helped with the deal, confirmed the buyer is Medford Commercial Properties I LLC.
"What they are going to do I don't know," Henry said.
Medford Commercial Properties I LLC, which registered with the Oregon Corporation Division on Aug. 14, listed William McCrae as its agent at 621 S.W. Morrison St., Suite 400, Portland. That's the address for the Carroll Companies, which channels Asian investment dollars into American investments, and operates community development, community investments and regional centers. News of the deal hit late in the day and efforts to reach Carroll Community Development managers were unsuccessful.
Fischer indicated it's customary for buyers to remain in the background until deals are closed.
"New ownership typically doesn't divulge its identity until it has control of the property," Fischer said. "Often, they are worried about competitors; I imagine I will hear from them (today)."
The venerable Chinese and American restaurant was established in September of 1950 by Henry and Betty Fong, Hang Papa and Sun Noon Moon Mama Lee, and Canton and Gene Lee Sheu and operated until May 31, 2005, when descendents of the founders decided to sell the business. That didn't come to fruition and declining real estate market values ran counter to the $4.75 million asking price for the 24,126-square-foot building with two dining rooms, a lounge, a banquet room and a parking lot.
According to city records, an interior demolition permit was obtained in August of 2009 and work continued through 2010. Still the property remained vacant.
Once the Walmart supercenter a quarter-mile up South Pacific Highway neared completion, the buyer showed a sense of urgency.
"The buyer paid for asbestos removal themselves," Fischer said. "They were in an extreme hurry."
Steven Croucher, an environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Quality, said a permit was issued to Global Pacific Environmental of White City to remove asbestos-laced wall texture, linoleum flooring and acoustical ceiling tiles from Aug. 13-17.
According to its website, Carroll Community Development provides comprehensive planning, entitlement, preconstruction services, construction oversight and building stabilization, and preparation of a firm's business plan and the reconciliation of the risks and rewards of the development with the business plan.
Carroll has been at the forefront of the foreign investment program known as EB-5, created in 1990 by Congress, through its involvement with the Oregon Regional Center.
The program makes 10,000 green cards available to foreigners who invest a minimum of $500,000 in U.S. companies that create or preserve at least 10 jobs in the country. EB-5 investment is generally $1 million, but if the project is in high-unemployment areas, it can be reduced to $500,000. Applicants obtain a two-year conditional green card. Then 90 days before the two-year period expires, the investor may apply to lift access conditions and receive an official green card to become a permanent U.S. resident.
Bloomberg reported that last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimated EB-5 attracted more than $1.5 billion in investment in its first 21 years, creating some 31,000 jobs.
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.