An appeals court last week found that a filing by auto dealer Ardas “Alex” Yanik had no merit and that Yanik failed to prove vague claims that Downey suffered from city of Bell-like corruption.
Yanik sued for $300,000, saying he planned to buy the property for $5.1 million in 2006 but lost his $3o0,000 deposit after the city denied his permits.
Yanik did not return a call to his office for this story.
Yanik was the man responsible for demolishing much of the historic structure in 2007. A the time, he was using the property as an auto dealership. The city stepped in to stop the destruction, but bulldozers had already wrecked most of the building. Yanik was convicted of several misdemeanor charges related to demolishing the property without permits.
Citizens worked with city government and Bob’s Big Boy franchise owner Jim Louder to rebuild the restaurant. It is currently Bob’s Big Boy Broiler.
Yanik’s claim is not the only one filed against the city regarding the Johnie’s Broiler property.
The owners of the now-closed Frisco’s property on Woodruff Avenue also sued the city and lost. The owners said the city began harassing them after Bob’s opened. The owners of Frisco’s lost their case, and they have filed an appeal against the decision.
There is also a third connection to a different piece of litigation against the city.
Lamberto Colon, the former owner of what is now the Fiat dealership on the west side of the city, has sued the city claiming that Downey’s officials drove him out of business by denying his plans to develop the property. The city bought Colon’s property out of foreclosure and used a financing deal to help bring in the Fiat dealer
– Homepage photo is courtesy of Downey Historical Society and Downey Conservancy. The photo embedded in the story is courtesy of Ian Anderson.