Ruling clears path for Chavez restaurant - East Valley Tribune: News

Ruling clears path for Chavez restaurant

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Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:25 pm | Updated: 1:34 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A Superior Court judge has issued an order that will allow the Julio César Chavez Campeones restaurant and entertainment center to proceed to an opening in mid-October.

Mexican boxing great Julio César Chavez has finally won a fight in Arizona.

A Superior Court judge has issued an order that will allow the Julio César Chavez Campeones restaurant and entertainment center to proceed to an opening in mid-October.

The boxer's development company faced delays because the owner of the Southern Sunset Plaza shopping center, at the southwest corner of Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue in Mesa, resisted granting a utility easement for the project. The restaurant is located in the center.

Salt River Project sought the easement because the kitchen, arcade games and extensive lighting at the Hispanic-themed restaurant require special electrical equipment.

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The center's owner, Phoenix-based PDG America Shopping Centers, said it was not legally required to grant the easement but would consider it if Kimsworth Arizona, the company that leases the space from PDG, contributed fees to maintain common areas at the center.

Julio César Chavez Campeones subleases 30,000 square feet from Kimsworth for the restaurant.

After talks failed to produce an agreement, Kimsworth filed a civil suit in Maricopa County Superior Court asking Judge Hugh Hegyi to issue an injunction requiring PDG to grant the easement. Kimsworth argued that its lease with PDG requires the shopping center owner to provide easements necessary for businesses to operate.

In an order issued this week, Hegyi agreed, saying that Kimsworth would likely prevail if the case went to trial. He said Kimsworth was suffering "irreparable harm," and that public policy favored a preliminary injunction.

Representatives of Kimsworth and PDG could not be reached for comment Friday.

Brian Weymouth, president of Julio César Chavez Entertainment, was pleased with the ruling but said the legal issues aren't over. He said Chavez's company has suffered "significant" losses as a result of delays related to the issue and will seek damages from PDG.

"PDG is not off the hook just because of the (court ruling)," he said. "We are an organization of fighters, from the top down."

Weymouth had planned to open the $4.5 million restaurant by the end of August, then set it back to Oct. 1. As a result of the easement dispute, he has tentatively set the opening back to Oct. 15.

"With this date change, we have had to do a lot of rescheduling," he said. "We have a lot of celebrities coming in, and we lined up bands that we can't book now."

Mesa City Councilman Dennis Kavanaugh said the judge's order is "a very positive development that will pave the way for the restaurant to open next month. This will allow the final work to be completed."

Chavez, a popular figure in the Hispanic community, was a six-time world boxing champion with a career record of 108 wins, 6 losses, 2 draws and 87 knockouts. However, he lost both of his bouts in Arizona, which prompted him to say he wanted to open the entertainment center here to please his Arizona fans.

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