The sale of Menalto Corners, a 4,400-square-foot retail center at 1923-1929 Menalto Ave. in Menlo Park, in a quick deal may have fallen through, although conflicting reports are circulating on the building's current status.
Last week, the real estate agent for Cafe Zoe was told by the agent representing the owner of Menalto Corners that the building had been sold in a quick deal, and that no counter-offers would be considered, according to Cafe Zoe's owner, Kathleen Daly.
Ms. Daly said she got a call on Feb. 11 from her agent, Adela Gildo-Mazzon, informing her of the sale. Sources at the cafe at the time the call arrived and those familiar with the situation confirmed the report.
She told the Almanac on Feb. 21 that the impression it had been an all-cash deal was an assumption on her part, but that the conversation was clear that it was a done deal.
Now it appears that deal fell through, although the retail center's tenants have gotten conflicting information this week on the property's status.
Suheil Sahouria, the agent representing landlord Anatole Zelkin, has not responded to requests to clarify the situation beyond claiming nothing in the story was accurate. Mr. Zelkin was not amenable to being interviewed and told the Almanac at the time the first story ran that he would not give out any information.
The building is listed at $1.45 million.
A sale could mean that Cafe Zoe will have to find a new home. Owner Kathleen Daly told the Almanac that she, like two other tenants -- Twig and Petals and Captivating Dance by Nona -- have no leases under the current owner. The fourth tenant, Habibi's Salon, was under contract.
The tenants learned about the possible sale in early January after negotiations over rent and utility increases fell apart.
Mr. Sahouria said the tenants turned down the offer of long-term leases.
After leaving voicemails inquiring about the sale last week, the tenants reportedly heard from Mr. Zelkin a few days ago, and received unclear information as to whether a deal is in progress or the building remains up for sale.
Ms. Daly has been pursuing options to purchase the building herself with help from either investors or a small business loan. During its five and a half years at the retail center, her restaurant has become a fixture in the Willows community.
"We know nothing at this point," she told the Almanac. "We just really don't know. It's really kind of a mystery."
Residents expressed hope that a new landlord would see the value of the community's investment in the Menalto Center businesses; Ms. Daly said the tenants remain optimistic.