A new consignment store has replaced a former one in the historic Mundorf’s Mercantile building at 71 S. Washington St. in downtown Sonora.
Next! Upscale Resale Sonora opened on Monday, a week after the closing of Funky Junk, which had occupied the space since 2014.
Fred and Tracie Reynolds, of Aptos, purchased the two-story, 6,500-square-foot for $550,000 following the death of the previous owner, John Bevanda, of Stockton.
Bevanda, who died in August, purchased the building in 2004 for $635,000, according to public records from the Tuolumne County Assessor-Recorder’s Office.
Records showed the sale of the building to the Reynolds was finalized on April 10.
The sale comes as a number of commercial properties in downtown Sonora are on the market or for lease as well, including the Sonora Armory entertainment complex on South Green Street that was recently put back on the market for nearly $5 million.
Mundorf building’s new owners
Fred Reynolds said he learned about the Mundorf building being for sale earlier this year from his brother-in-law, Jason Dambacher, who lives in the area.
“I just looked at it and thought it was a neat old building,” said Fred Reynolds, a general contractor and developer who mostly builds homes in San Mateo County’s Portola Valley.
Jason Dambacher is married to Tracie Reynolds’ sister, Kelley Dambacher, who has a massage therapy business in one of the six suites on the second floor that is accessed via a back entrance off South Stewart Street.
The Yoga Loft also rents a studio on the second story of the building.
Teresa Padovan has operated as a licensed massage therapist out of one of the suites for the past seven years and was concerned about new owners wanting to convert the second story into condominiums when she heard about the building being for sale, but she said all of the tenants have signed new leases with the Reynolds.
Fred Reynolds said he doesn’t plan to do anything significantly different with or to the building, which he believed was in good shape other than needing some minor touch-ups like replacing some water-damaged ceiling tiles.
“The idea is kind of an investment,” he said. “It’s a low-risk one because it’s been there 100 years, so probably nothing’s going to happen to it.”
According to the historical records, the building was constructed in the 1850s originally as two one-story buildings with an adobe saloon and brick general store.
A second story was added to the combined buildings in about 1895 as a family residence for the Mundorf family, who operated the mercantile business on the first floor until the late 1930s.
The building was purchased by Frank Holman in 1926, who remodeled it in 1938. It was operated by the Holman family as a hardware store named Mundorf’s until 1995, after which it became Sonora Music and Creative Learning.
Funky Junk, which operated for three years next to where Downtown Shoes is located, moved into the space in 2014 shortly after the closing of Sonora Music and Creative Learning.
Fred Reynolds said he’s not too worried about a number of other longtime businesses in downtown Sonora recently shutting down, which he believes is part of a shift toward becoming a more tourist-oriented destination.
“That downtown is kind of changing and becoming more about craft beer and wine,” he said. “I think it’s always going to be good because it’s always got traffic going through it.”
New consignment store replaces Funky Junk
Diane Cady is the owner of Next! Upscale Resale Sonora that has replaced Funky Junk. She also owns a consignment store name Next! Upscale Resale in Murphys.
Cady opened her store in Murphys 10 years ago as a way to earn some additional income amid the economic downturn.
As a former Realtor and home stager, Cady said she had enough furniture to open the store that has 1,600 different consignors.
“Everybody walking in says I need a bigger store,” she said of her 1,500 square foot space in Murphys.
The opportunity to expand to Sonora came up by chance after Cady hired a woman from Sonora to work at her store in Murphys.
Three days later, Cady got a call from one of the vendors at Funky Junk who said the owner, Micki Rucker, wasn’t planning to renew her lease.
“It was just something that fell into place,” Cady said.
Cady said she has 35 consignors for the location in Sonora, some of whom were previously vendors and artisans who sold their wares at Funky Junk.
The store will be mostly focused on furniture and is always looking for more consignors, Cady said, though it only accepts items that are in excellent to perfect condition.
One of the items that Cady said the store will soon be reselling is a $22,000 Stickley Furniture bedroom set that will be marked down to $11,000.
Cady said she’s heard complaints about there being too many wine-tasting rooms in Murphys and not enough shopping opportunities, which was one of the things that attracted her to Sonora.
She also plans to start an online store similar to her Murphys store that will allow people to order and pick up items, but won’t offer shipping.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for a store like mine,” she said. “I feel like I’m a perfect outlet for the finer furnishings that people need to move.”
Other downtown buildings for sale or lease
The Sonora Armory was recently put back on the market by owner Doug Kennedy through the Sacramento-based company Restaurant Exchange.
Kennedy spent more than two years renovating the 14,400-square-foot building at 208 S. Green St. into a bar and restaurant, retail store and live entertainment venue that opens to an outdoor beer garden.
The long-anticipated opening of the Armory, which was announced in early 2016, hit a snag last year when Kennedy decided not to open the business after it was completed and put the building up for sale or lease.
According to the listing on the company’s website, the property “is designed as a central dining and entertainment hub in a thriving downtown setting with unique shops and boutiques, art galleries and a strong dining and bar district.”
Kennedy has been critical of the city’s leadership in the past, but he said the main reason he decided to sell was to focus his attention on his ventures in the lucrative video-game industry.
The former Twain Harte resident has lived primarily in Florida for the past two years while running a company he co-founded that develops video games and a venture capital fund for independent video game developers.
Roadblocks and obstacles that Kennedy faced during the development of the Armory had previously soured his relationship with the city, but he said they’ve been working together better in recent months.
“I’ve never been negative on the fact that I think the opportunity is there,” he said of doing business in the city. “I just hope they would make more investment in the downtown area to make it more inviting for tourism.”
The listing for the Armory through Restaurant Exchange stated the building is “fully built and ready for a new operator” and has a capacity of about 500 people, which includes about 75 in the restaurant and bar, 175 in the beer garden, and more than 200 in the event venue.
Though the asking price is listed at $4,899,000, Kennedy is also open to a 10-year lease at a proposed rate of $17,500 a month with the purchase of the business assets offered at $350,000.
Kennedy is also open to seller financing for a “very experienced restaurateur” that would include a cash-down payment of $500,000 and a note at 5 percent interest payable over 30 years, with a balloon payment at the end of year 10.
“I think I’m going to be very flexible,” he said. “It will just take the right person to run it.”
Kennedy said he’s been having ongoing conversations with several prospects since last year, including one that was close to pulling the trigger at one point, but he believes interest could soon pick up from a marketing push that will include photos and videos of the property.
An ideal suitor for Kennedy would be a brewery that wants to expand its footprint into the Sierra Nevada foothills.
A number of other buildings in downtown Sonora are also listed for sale on the website LoopNet.
A building at 87 S. Washington St. and 1 Linoberg St. that’s home to Mountain Home Gifts and the Sonora Tap Room is listed for $279,500. The building was constructed in the 1850s as a Wells Fargo Express Office, according to public records.
Three Dog Investments, an Oakland-based limited liability company, is listed as the owner in public records.
The company also owns 78 S. Washington St., home to Sonora Mixed Martial Arts Company, which is listed for sale at $359,500. It also owns the building occupied by Diamondback Grill, though that’s not listed for sale on the website.
Other buildings that are listed for sale are The Union Democrat’s office at 84 S. Washington St. at $925,000, Legends Books, Antiques and Soda Fountain at 131 S. Washington St. at $550,000, and one at 805 Stockton Road at $895,000.
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.