MARTINEZ -- Martinez finally flipped the historic downtown building city leaders bought seven years ago.
The City Council on Wednesday sold 630 Court St. to Southport Land and Commercial Company for $175,000 and transferred ownership of 610 Court St. to the company. In March, the council agreed to buy 610 Court St. from Contra Costa County for $378,000 with the understanding that Southport would reimburse the city. Martinez bought 630 Court St. from the county for $175,000 in 2005.
Built in 1926, the two-story brick building at 630 Court St. is listed on the state Register of Historic Places. City leaders had been adamant about their desire for a white-tablecloth restaurant in the space but prospective developers could never make the project work financially because the building needs expensive seismic retrofitting.
Southport President David Fischer said the company would have lost money on the bids upscale restaurants submitted for the space. Fischer said he still wants to put in an eatery, but he acknowledged that the building ultimately may house some other retail use.
"We're going to let the market dictate what goes in there," Fischer said.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.