By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Del Rio Building Headed For Sale
Riverbank City Council members, sitting as the city's Redevelopment Agency, has authorized seeking bids for professional real estate services to sell the Del Rio Building and parking lot at 3300 Atchison St., plus the former Reed's Garage at 6800 Third.

The Del Rio was built in the 1940s as a movie theater, became a restaurant and Bingo Hall and was bought by the city four years ago with the intent of creating a cultural arts center as the focal point of a redeveloped downtown. Later, however, an engineer declared the building structurally unsound and the city found it had spent most of the $1 million reserved for repairs so the building has stood closed and unused ever since.

While voting 4-0 on Feb. 28 to dispose of the building, the Agency members appeared reluctant and in no hurry to act. Director of Economic Development Tim Ogden said he had prepared a request for proposals but would not issue it until city officials had time to hold talks with a group of local businesspeople, investment bankers and entrepreneurs as requested by Mayor Virginia Madueno.

Vice Mayor Richard O'Brien said it was essential to make a move and put the building back on the tax rolls as soon as possible while noting the Agency could not expect to get back the $1.7 million it paid a private owner four years ago. O'Brien added he had bought a house for $500,000 at about the same time, now saw its worth slashed to $200,000 or so and suspected commercial property would have lost comparable value.

Queried by O'Brien, Ogden agreed the Agency's last official action was to approve demolition of the Del Rio Building but that had not happened as officials had waited in hopes of improvement in the economy and a better solution.

Oakdale Realtor Robert Cairns came to the podium to ask what the Agency's plans were for the site and building and got no reply. He volunteered his services, however, as a member of the task force it will convene for further discussions on the future of the building.

Ogden has pointed out the Agency could still demolish and/or sell off the section to the south, the Bingo Hall, that is judged in the worst structural condition and refurbish the northern part that was last used as a restaurant.

Whoever buys the site and building, city officials hope they will rebuild it as a restaurant or hotel or large retail business that would remain the focus of the downtown.

While the Del Rio Building raises its old style, movie house tower at the corner of Atchison (Highway 108) and Third Street, the additional property in the request for proposals, known as Reeds Garage, is adjacent to the Del Rio but on Third Street and was bought for $400,000 at the same time. The Agency once envisioned it as suitable for a parking structure to serve the downtown.