Ed Pilolla

Sale of Mermaid property in Hermosa Beach falls through

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The Mermaid restaurant and cocktail lounge is back on the real estate market after a deal to sell it to developers fell apart at the end of the year.

One Pier Avenue LLC wanted to purchase the property and build a hotel on the site, which includes adjacent businesses on the plaza and Strand. The two parties set up an escrow account in last August, but Mermaid Manager Diana Albergate said on Tuesday that deal, which included Killer Shrimp taking over management of the Mermaid, is dead.

“They didn’t pay the money they were supposed to pay. It’s pretty simple,” said Albergate, who declined to say how much the property was supposed to sell for.

“They had until the end of the year to complete the escrow and they were unable to do that,” Albergate said.

Albergate is the step-daughter of the late Quentin L. “Boots” Thelen, who owned the Mermaid until his death in 2007. The property has been for sale since 2007 because a revaluation of the property following Thelen’s death dramatically increased the estate taxes, Albergate has said.

Albergate said she remains hopeful the property will find a buyer. She said she receives inquiries regularly.

“It’ll happen. It’s just one of those things,” said Albergate, who is vacationing in Kauai, Hawaii. “It didn’t get completed, and therefore we move on… We are still for sale.”

In anticipation of the proposed sale, the Mermaid held a Last Call party the last weekend in July, and then reopened on a limited basis in October. Albergate said the Mermaid will continue with the limited hours until the summer season.

The property includes not only the Mermaid, but also the adjacent Poop Deck bar and Good Stuff restaurant on the Strand and the Cantina Real restaurant, Pier Surf Shop and Tiki Mon Creamery & Café on Pier Plaza. Albergate had been asking about $24.5 million for the property, which includes $17.5 million for the property on the Strand and $7 million for the storefronts on Pier Plaza.

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