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Cascade center sells to Grants Pass trio

WHITE CITY - A Grants Pass partnership has acquired Cascade Shopping Center from L.D. "Joe" Josephson for $3.8 million.

The 63,156-square-foot commercial retail center on 14 acres at 7571 Crater Lake Highway was built in 1963 and was expanded to include a six-screen theater in 1981.

Grants Pass developers Max Hull, Tim Cummings and Jerry Swanson closed the deal on Jan. 31 for a dated, but strategically located, commercial property in a rapidly growing area of the county.

"It's not a big flashy shopping center," Hull said. "It's been there quite a while and has shown a steady history. It's a solid development in the community. I don't think it charges a lot of rent, but tenants are real solid. It just looks like a good steady place to be in."

Shop-N-Kart grocery, a barbershop, a print shop and a Mexican restaurant are among the other tenants.

"Jackson County and Medford are growing and things seem to be moving out in that direction," Hull said.

The primary short-term changes at the center would be cosmetic, he said. "We want to get our feet on the ground, to do some improvements, give it a facelift and clean it up."

The 95-year-old Josephson spent more than 30 years in the Middle East, Philippines and England, rising to president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Standard Oil's subsidiary in Bahrain. He moved to the Rogue Valley in 1971.

Josephson and several partners bought the shopping center more than two decades ago. Over the years, he bought out a series of partners. He said he decided to sell about a year ago.

"I bought it as an investment property," said Josephson, who also owned an interest in Shamrock Square shopping center on Crater Lake Avenue. "And now I'm trying to get rid of a few of my assets."

Hull, who operates a surveying company, and Cummings began developing and managing property together 10 years ago. Swanson, an electrical contractor, joined the duo two years ago when the partnership paid California Oregon Broadcasting $1.6 million for an 8.3-acre parcel between Redwood Highway and Union Avenue in south Grants Pass. When Safeway Inc., declined to exercise an option on the property, the trio sold it to the city of Grants Pass for $2.5 million in a deal that closed in January.

Hull said the investors had been looking for commercial property for about six months and considered a stake in the Mountain View Plaza in Central Point, but that didn't pan out

"This is really a long-term investment for us and in the future, we'd look to bring improvement," said Hull, 59, who is 10 years older than his partners. "For me, I see it providing retirement-type income, but my partners are younger."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com.