Bank drops attempted takeover of Bijou Shopping Center in South Lake Tahoe |

Bank drops attempted takeover of Bijou Shopping Center in South Lake Tahoe

Cody Bass, owner of the Bijou Shopping Center, recently resolved an outstanding debt issue between U.S. Bank and the previous owner of the shopping center.
Claire Cudahy / Tribune file photo

U.S. Bank has dropped an attempted takeover of the Bijou Shopping Center thanks to the building’s new owner making good on a defaulted loan held by the previous owner.

An attorney for the bank requested the case be dismissed without prejudice Wednesday, just two days before a scheduled hearing on the case, according to a court filing.

The request marks the end of what Cody Bass, executive director of Tahoe Wellness Cooperative and owner of of the Bijou center, called an infuriating process.

The frustration, he explained, stemmed from his inability to directly pay the money owed to U.S. Bank. With the federal government still considering cannabis an illegal substance, banks, which are insured by the federal government, have largely refused to deal with the fledgling industry.

Bass has attempted to pay the money owed to U.S. Bank, which totaled $921,672 as of May 15, since purchasing the building from Patricia Olson in July.

U.S. Bank refused to accept the payment from Bass, and in September the bank filed for receivership — the court process of letting an outside party take control of a property to manage it and recoup the costs of an outstanding debt.

The bank argued that Olson had violated the terms of the loan. A court filing stated Olson, who is now in her 90s and delegated the responsibility of managing the property to her son years ago, had not made a regular payment on the loan since August 2016. The loan fully matured in May.

Bass said he was finally able to reach an agreement with the bank earlier this week by using essentially a third party to make the payments.

“That’s all completely resolved,” he told the Tribune.

Now the Bijou center can begin leasing available space. Bass said Glazed and Confuzed Tahoe Donut recently signed a lease to move into the space previously occupied by Hot Gossip Lounge.

The Bijou center has two additional spaces to lease: one was previously occupied by a music shop and the other is a turn-key bank location. Bass said he considered expanding Tahoe Wellness into the bank space but decided to leave it as is.

“We’re excited to get the building leased and ready to move on to the next chapter,” Bass said.

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