Dean Granger with Granger Chevrolet has had a problem getting hold of the owner of Phelan Investments in Beaumont.
It sounded like he was not alone Tuesday morning at the meeting of the Pinehurst City Council.
Phelan Investments owns several shopping centers in the Orange area and several of them have empty spaces which some are starting to call eye sores.
Granger told the council his business would like to lease a portion of the lot in the MacArthur Shopping Center to park cars yet he has not received a phone call back from Phelan Investments, the owners of the property.
“Just a return phone call is basic business etiquette,” Granger said. “I am asking for help from you guys to get Phelen to represent Orange well.”
Granger pointed to Phelan’s website which lists properties owned by the group, none of the listings shows land in Orange.
“It doesn’t look like to consumers like there is any lease property available in Orange,” Granger told the council. “That is a disservice to Pinehurst. I have friends who have needed office space but have heard stories about Phelan and decided against doing business here.”
Pinehurst Mayor Pro Tem Dan Barclay said he was interested in seeing what the council could do to answer the questions raised by Granger.
“I am not sure what we really can do as a council,” Barclay said. “It is their property and we can’t force them to do anything. It is up to us to convince them to do something just to be visible. I’d like us to try to understand what their issues are.”
Pinehurst City Administrator Joe Parkhurst reported he has called Phelan Investments on several occasions yet typically does not get a return phone call.
“The call goes to voicemail and it says the box is full and you can’t leave a message,” Parkhurst said. “I have been told by them in the past they are working on things. That is going on two years.”
Parkhurst said the “things” Phelan Investments were said to be working on were not detailed by the company.
Councilmember Dan Mohon requested Parkhurst along with Orange County EDC Director Bobby Fillyaw “pester the heck” out of Phelan Investments.
“It is time to be aggressive,” Mohon added.
In other city business the council:
• Approved a resolution allowing the city to renew a line of credit with Orange Savings Back;
• Appointed Dan Mohon and John Zerko as police negotiation team members;
• Appointed Ron Cowling Sr. and Dan Barclay as budget committee members.