Mark Wilcke, an executive vice president with NAI Horizon, told Phoenix New Times the company reached an agreement with an unidentified buyer last week to purchase the 20,865-square-foot property located at Grand and 37th avenues.
The deal came days before Mr. Lucky’s was set to be auctioned a second time through online commercial real estate exchange Ten-X. (A previous deal to sell the property this past summer fell through after the buyer may have had issues with funding.)
Wilcke says the current deal – which includes the property’s 4.4-acre lot, as well as the original two-story Mr. Lucky’s building and its towering sign – is in escrow.
“The auction was called off because we had a [new] buyer who came to the table before it began,” he says. “They liked the building enough that they wanted to make an offer on it, and we came to an agreement with the seller.”
Wilke says escrow is expected to close by the end of the year “if everything goes well.” He declined to disclose the terms of the deal but says the new buyer didn’t participate in the first auction.
It's the latest development in the long history of Mr. Lucky’s. As New Times chronicled in October, the nightclub and music venue was first opened in 1966 by Phoenix entrepreneurs Bob Sikora and the late George Xericos. They built the place from scratch, including its iconic neon sign depicting a jester-like harlequin, created by famed local designer Glen Guyette.
In 1988, Mr. Lucky’s was bought by local country musician J. David Sloan, who later added an outdoor bull-riding arena and played a role in getting the music career of Valley resident (and future American Idol winner) Jordin Sparks.
Mr. Lucky’s 38-year run as a country music venue came to an end in 2004 when Sloan left the business. The property operated as a Latin nightclub for a few years before closing after the Great Recession and was purchased by California-based investor Vahak Minassian in 2010. It’s hosted a few different businesses since then (including an event space, furniture store, and restaurant), but has largely remained vacant the past several years.
The property, which has become visibly decrepit since its heyday, has been up for sale at various times since 2012.