Opera House up for auction
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jun 21, 2013 | 5947 views | 5 5 comments | 109 109 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Opera House building, 902 N. Central Ave., will be auctioned Thursday, June 27, at the Canlis Administration Building in Stockton.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
The Opera House building, 902 N. Central Ave., will be auctioned Thursday, June 27, at the Canlis Administration Building in Stockton. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
A downtown Tracy landmark, the Opera House, is set to be auctioned off Thursday, June 27, but a number of tenants say the change in ownership is irrelevant to their desire to stay.

Patricia Munson, owner of Platinum Conference and Event Center, said she plans to keep her business office in the building, but she will be closing her party space in late August.

“I had the option to leave and we’re very comfortable here,” she said. “I’m not relocating. Everybody that wants to stay can stay, or so I was told.”

Munson is one of seven tenants leasing space inside the building at 902 Central Ave.

Other tenants include Community Center for the Blind, advertising staff from the Bay Area News Group, Tracy Travel and Tracy Bridal and Alterations.

Mohammad Hatef, owner of the alterations shop, said he, too, intends to make sure his lease is upheld.

“I want to stay,” he said. “I have a lease for five years and I plan to stay for longer. The business has been there for maybe 10 years — it’s hard to relocate.”

The co-owner of Tracy Travel, Tracy Gangwer, declined to comment.

According to the building owner, Dennis Ward, anyone with a lease will be allowed to stay after the auction.

“It (the lease) doesn’t go away just because a change of ownership,” Ward said. “It’s ridiculous to think people are getting kicked out of the building. That’s not the case at all.”

Ward said he decided to auction off the building that he bought in 2004 due to the poor rental market.

“I hardly get calls anymore for rental space,” he said. “It’s been a struggle. The last couple of years, the bank, Bank of Agriculture and Commerce, worked with me and cut payments to match the income, but that’s got to end, too.”

Since his purchase, Ward said he has made more than $500,000 in renovations. He said his biggest investment was converting the former Opera House Restaurant on the third floor into office space.

The three-story, 24,000-square-foot building goes up for auction at 12:15 p.m. June 27 on the steps of the Canlis Administration Building at 24 S. Hunter St., Stockton The bidding starts at $2,515,047.58, which is the remainder of the money Ward owes on his loan.

The Opera House was originally constructed in 1928 with two floors and a small meeting room that occupied a small section of the third floor, according to Sam Matthews, publisher emeritus of the Press.

One of its primary tenants was the Masonic Temple, which vacated the building in the 1950s.

Then known as the Roberts building, it housed several businesses on the ground floor, including Turner Hardware, with office space on the second floor for dentists, attorneys and the Westside Irrigation District, Matthews said.

It wasn’t until 1982 that the building got its present name with the arrival of the Opera House Restaurant, after it was purchased by the Cose family and renovated. The restaurant remained in the building for 10 years until a fire on May 7, 1992, closed the structure’s doors for more than four years.

After being sold, the building was renovated and reopened to house several businesses.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
June 27, 2013
The Opera House restaurant was such a beautiful place and as operated by the Cose family, it was the place we loved to celebrate any special occasion. How sad it was replaced with office space.
June 24, 2013
Chris - what city would be your destination, honestly? Monster?
June 21, 2013
Gee when there was a medical marijuana shop at that location, there could have actually been some good tax revenue generated for the city, and the owner could afford to keep the building.

Now we will have this eye sore that nobody wants!

Welcome to Tracy, where things are done backwards!

Just need the real estate market to hold up a bit longer so we can get out of this god for saken arm pit town!
June 21, 2013
Looking forward to the mass exodus coming once the real estate market recovers. I'm with ya brother.
June 25, 2013
The Opera House building isn't an eyesore.

I took a walk in the downtown today. An eyesore is the thousands and thousands of cigarette butts discarded in front of The Great Plate. I will not eat at this squalid place. Also, the barbecue place on 9th Street had a bunch of charcoal discarded in the gutters. I walked a bit of the neighborhood--what a mess.

Central Avenue looked like a landfill. Anyone who is a proprietor in the downtown ought to collect garbage outside his establishment every hour.

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