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Black Point Inn closes, looks for new owner

The struggling Oregon City restaurant closed last weekend
by: file photo by David Stroup, The Black Point Inn shortly after it opened in July 2006.

The Black Point Inn has closed its doors. But right now, it's tough to tell how soon, if ever, the doors will reopen.

A sign on the front door of The Black Point Inn posted over the weekend read: 'The Black Point Inn will be closed for remodeling. We apologize for the Inconvenience. We will re-open in early February.'

It's no secret that the restaurant had been struggling financially, and whispers of its impending closure have been traveling through Oregon City business circles for the past few months.

The restaurant is owned and operated together by Cutting Edge Restaurants and NW Hayden Enterprises. Local real estate developer Kent Ziegler was an initial investor in the restaurant.

'I still believe strongly with the right owner/operator Black Point Inn could be a tremendous success,' Ziegler said. 'That's what we're looking for, someone who eats, breathes and sleeps this restaurant as the most important thing in their life.'

'We wanted to lift this city up as the city invested so much in the Seventh Street improvements,' Ziegler continued. 'We're all trying to make this thing work.'

The company has been looking for a new owner/operator to purchase the restaurant and assumer the operations.

Bill Hayden, CEO of NW Hayden Enterprises, maintains that the closure of the Black Point Inn is only temporary and that they are in the midst of finding a new owner.

'I would say there are two or three potential owners looking at it right now,' Hayden said.

Personal guarantors and a property lien back the $200,000 Urban Renewal loan the Black Point Inn received in April 2006. Since the space is leased, that property includes all of the equipment within the building, City Manager Larry Patterson said.

The guarantors will be contacted immediately to ensure the terms of the agreement are followed and the city recoups its money, he added. The city was notified of the closure over the weekend.

Urban renewal is a bonding mechanism used by city and county governments. The public body defines a given area as an urban renewal district; a freeze is then placed on tax values of all of the property within the district. As the property values increase as a result of the improvements made with the urban renewal bonds, the amount collected for taxes remains at the frozen level. Whatever amount exists above that frozen level goes toward payment of the bonds.

Urban renewal has become controversial for multiple reasons. Some argue that urban renewal is simply a way for cities to take out bonds without voter approval, and some say the money should be used to develop public areas to attract businesses, not given or loaned to private entities as Oregon City did with the Black Point Inn.

A Black Point Inn History:

April 2006: Oregon City Urban Renewal Commission authorizes $200,000 Urban Renewal Loan to Cutting Edge Restaurants, LLC for start up costs at the Black Point Inn.

July 2006: Black Point Inn opens at 602 7th St.

September 2007: Black Point Inn requests an additional $245,000 in Urban Renewal funds, partly to pay interest on the first loan.

October 2007: Black Point Inn withdraws request for additional Urban Renewal money.

December 2007: Oregon City Garbage cancels trash service for non-payment.

January 27, 2007: Black Point Inn shuts down operations.