Judge’s Ruling This Week Could Determine If Controversial Sale of Tower Theater Moves Forward
A judge will decide by Friday whether to grant a preliminary injunction that would continue to halt the sale of Fresno’s iconic Tower Theater. Lawyers for the Sequoia Brewing Company and the Tower Theater argued their case at a hearing Wednesday. At issue is the brewery’s right of first refusal to sell the property. The theater claims it’s already given the brewery an offer, and that its right of first refusal has already expired, 12 days after seeing the offer. But Kimberly Mayhew, an attorney for the brewery says the theater has refused to show the full price and terms of the church’s offer, thereby not making the offer valid.
“They’re trying to modify the deal, right? The deal is that we get to see what the third party offer is and then we can do our due diligence,” says Mayhew. “We can decide what we think our premises is worth. They’re cutting out all that ability for us to have any control or any say and they’re just unilaterally saying: ‘Here’s the price that we’ve decided: $1.268 million. Here’s the date we’re giving you March 24th.’ None of that is in the contract that our clients were assigned.”
Mayhew says her client has a right to see the church’s offer. She says the March 24 deadline was put in the landlord’s papers that were filed a week ago. Mayhew says the temporary restraining order halting the sale of the theater stays in effect until the judge rules on the injunction.
“The preliminary injunction, if it’s granted, it basically just extends where we are now, which is, they can’t sell the property until trial, whenever the trial date is set,” she says.
If an injunction is not granted, Mayhew says they will file an appeal.