A dispute between the owners of a West Oakland shopping center has derailed plans for the district's first supermarket in nearly a decade, leaving a prominent Oakland businessman facing a possible $500,000 fine and his third lawsuit in the past year.
Hopes were high for the long-struggling Jack London Gateway shopping center last year when Thomas Henderson bought a majority stake in the property with the promise of renovating it and operating a high-end grocery store as the anchor tenant.
But the storefront at 800 Market St. remains an empty shell, as it has since 2007. And, the nonprofit West Oakland Marketplace Advancement Company, which brought Henderson aboard as its partner, has filed a lawsuit against him charging that he has not made required payments on the $3.7 million he owes in connection with buying the property.
"That's just horrible," Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who represents West Oakland, said when informed about the lawsuit. "I was concerned about how slow that appeared to be going."
Read more by clicking below image