At last night’s Norfolk City Council meeting, supporters of the Hershee Bar once again turned out–albeit in smaller numbers than before–to speak about their opposition to the bar’s closure. For the first time, Eric and Jeff Cooper, of Five Points LLC were also on hand to speak to the Council about the pending sale of the property.
In their statements to the Council, the Coopers said that homophobia had nothing to do with their decision to sell their 17-plot property at Five Points and told the Council that the Hershee Bar owed back rent. They did not say whether or not any accrued debt played a role in their decision to sell the bar and surrounding property.
In an interview conducted earlier this year with Jeff Cooper, he told OutWire757 that his family has has the property top for sale for almost a decade and lauded owner Annette Stone for being a good tenant. At one point, Five Points LLC offered to sell the property to Stone. Cooper said that at the time, Ms. Stone could not obtain financing.
However, according to Stone, a lender had approved the financing pending a property survey. Stone said that the financing fell through after the survey revealed that portions of the property were contaminated and required remediation before a commercial loan could be secured.
Soil toxicity and remediation at Five Points was not brought up at last night’s meeting, but according to the sales offer approved by the city in February, Five Points LLC is required to to evict the tenants, demolish the structures, and remediate any environmental issues before the sale closes. If any of those three conditions are not met, the transaction will not be completed.
While Stone attended last night Council meeting, she did not speak. She has retained an attorney and the Hershee Bar is currently operating normally. Pending any new developments, the bar is set to close at the end of October.
Watch comments from last night’s Council meeting about the Hershee Bar at the 1:01:53 mark.