Sandy family buys former Ashley's Swiss Village
UPDATES: This story has been updated to correct the chain of ownership of the Swiss Village property. And the latest update clarifies the principal buyer of the property.
A Vancouver woman who grew up in Sandy has purchased the former Ashley's Swiss Village along Highway 26 for $960,000 and will try to revive the rundown property.
The complex is one of three prominent properties sold off in the year-old bankruptcy of Gresham-area businessmen Frank and Bill Hartner.
In April, a Gresham developer bought nearly a block of buildings the Hartner's owned in downtown Gresham for $3.27 million. On Friday, the Gresham Historical Society is scheduled to complete the $425,000 purchase of an old church adjacent to its museum on North Main Avenue.
The buyer of the Boring complex is Jet Properties, which was incorporated in Oregon in March by Tausha Dwyre of Vancouver.
The bankruptcy trustee was ready to sell the property to Dwyre last fall for $825,000 when three other bidders came in at the last moment. So it went to auction in January.
Two Gresham men won the auction with a bid of $1 million, but backed out after estimating how much improvements would cost. The trustee then offered the complex to the Dwyre for her second-place bid — $960,000.
The purchase does not include the adjacent Chevron gas station and convenience store.
There are five buildings on the former Ashley's property; three have businesses paying rent. There is a pizza parlor and pub, a motorcycle sales and repair shop and a bar and restaurant. A vacant drive-in restaurant — last named Frack Burger — is the most visible from nearby Highway 26
Workers cleaning up the drive-in last week said Dwyre told them they hoped to attract a national fast-food chain to locate there. They also want to clean up and repair driveways and parking lots and refurbish and rent out the vacant buildings, a process that could take much of the year.
The development started in 1968 when Don and Marie Ecklund opened a coffee shop called Heidi's on the site. They expanded over the years, adding buildings and attractions like a small railroad that circled the parking lot.
They moved their operation to Gresham in 1980.
The Eklunds sold the Swiss Village property to Canteen Inc. in 1982. Canteen turned the Swiss Village into an amusement park like setting, building a putt-putt golf course and adding an arcade. The Hartner's bought the property from Canteen in 1990, spending a considerable amount of money refurbishing the buildings and property, which had been in disrepair for a number of years under Canteen ownership.
The complex was scheduled to be sold at a sheriff's auction in April 2016 when at the last minute the Hartners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court. A judge immediately appointed a trustee to take control of two Hartner businesses, Can-American Inc. and El Nino LLC, and to sell their assets.
According to court documents, after paying off loans, taxes, commissions and other expenses, the Hartners each received $128,300 from the sale.
Can-American owned the Boring property. The Hartners, the bankruptcy trustee and several investors are still embroiled in lawsuits in state and federal courts over management and ownership disputes.