YAKIMA, Wash. — Tenants of Track 29 say they will fight to counter what they describe as the negative perception painted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to manage the development.
Tenants, along with the nonprofit Historic North Yakima Group, are seeking to preserve the downtown shopping area, which is made up of train cars off Yakima Avenue.
“All Track 29 needs is a little bit of love, a paint job and a new manager,” Tony Sandoval, a Track 29 tenant and president of the Historic North Yakima Group, said at a news conference Wednesday.
The news conference came after trustee Matt Anderton indicated recently that he was looking into several options for the property. One proposal would remove train cars and convert the space into a parking lot with landscaping, according to plans submitted to the city of Yakima.
Anderton was assigned by U.S. Bankruptcy Court as trustee after Yesterday’s Village, which previously ran the development, filed for bankruptcy in March 2011.
Lonnie Davis, owner of Russillo’s Pizza and Gelato, said that Anderton has refused to make improvements on the property, ignored efforts to attract new tenants and has minimal communications with tenants.
Anderton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sandoval said the Historic North Yakima Group plans to submit a nomination form to the Yakima Historic Preservation Commission to be considered a historical site.
He also believes that Track 29 can contribute to the mix of retail and restaurants that would make for a thriving downtown area.
“This is economic development,” he said. “With the right manager, we could have this flourishing.”