With Poll: New owner puts Ann Arbor's former Damon's Grill building up for sale
Damon’s Grill closed Sunday after the franchise could not come to a lease agreement with the building's new owners following a foreclosure on the property in 2012.
Jason No, a franchise spokesperson, said in an email the closing of the restaurant was purely a financial decision.
“The business has not been able to sustain itself, and did not appear to be able to change course,” he wrote.
Maryland-based McCormick 107, LLC bought the property at 3015 Boardwalk Drive through a sheriff's sale on Nov. 1, 2012, according to the property’s deed. The new owners paid $1.45 million for a property that California-based investor Ronald Campos bought in 2006 for nearly $3.5 million, according to city records.
The new owner’s principal office also is the office of Maryland-based investment company Beltway Capital Management, according to paperwork on file with the Maryland’s Secretary of State’s office. According to the company’s website, Beltway Capital Management “has extensive experience in distressed debt markets of all types and actively acquires assets as principal for our own portfolio.”
Even though it has not been listed online yet, the property is for sale with an asking price of $1.9 million, listing agent Jim Stokas said.
“It’s a good property, and we’re excited about marketing it,” he said.
“There aren’t a lot of good sites in that area and it has great pylon signage on State Street in addition to being on the circular road around the hotels there.”
Robert Litter, a senior vice president at Beltway Capital management, said the property is McCormick’s only investment in Ann Arbor. He said the company does not have a specific timeline for selling the property or a specific type of client in mind.
In late 2009, Campos and his wife Zenaida were listed in the Washtenaw Legal News as being in default on payments to Flagstar Bank to the tune of $2.38 million. Washtenaw County chief deputy clerk and register of deeds James Dries said after the sheriff sale Campos has a six-month window in which he can reclaim the property for the approximately $1.45 million sale price.
“Mostly when we see foreclosures they’re on residential properties, and on those properties it’s infrequent that people are able to redeem the properties,” he said.
“This is a commercial property though, so it would be harder for me to say.”
Regardless of whether Campos can reclaim the property before May 1, Damon’s Grill has closed its doors in Ann Arbor for good. The last few days at the restaurant were very special, Mowara said, waith many members of the Ann Arbor community coming to say goodbye to the restaurant.
“A ton of past employees came, regular guests came in, a lot of my vendors came — it was really neat,” he said.
“From the support we got on Friday and Saturday we kind of gathered that we wouldn’t last food-wise all the way through Sunday. By 6 p.m. we were bone dry, and by 8 p.m. we had closed up.”
Mowara spent most of last week working to find job opportunities for his employees. He said that restaurants in the area, as well as big box stores such as Costco, had been extremely helpful, and that many of the franchise’s former workers had found new jobs.