'Little Amana' area could be redeveloped

Potential buyer negotiating purchase of four properties

George Ford
Published: January 1 2014 | 8:41 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:32 am in
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A potential buyer has been negotiating to purchase the Ox Yoke Innterstate restaurant and three other properties in "Little Amana" off Interstate 80 at Exit 225, according to a property owner.

Bill Leichsenring, whose family operated the Ox Yoke Innterstate for 14 years until this past weekend, said the anonymous buyer also wants to buy a former Day's Inn hotel, a small retail "strip"  center and a BP station for redevelopment.

"Over the last 30 days, the interest became more serious to the point of inspecting our building," Leichsenring said. "The gentleman we are dealing with has done an exhaustive amount of due diligence work.

"We were told we should have an answer close to the first of the year."

Leichsenring said the decision to close the restaurant was made after the purchase offer was extended. He said the timing also was right in terms of other considerations.

"We felt that we needed to give at least 30 days notice to our staff," Leichsenring said. "We also knew we were going into the first quarter of the year, which is traditionally our worst due to bad weather. It just made good business sense to close at the end of our fiscal year."

Leichsenring said a majority of the Ox Yoke Innterstate employees were hired to work at the original Ox Yoke Inn, 4420 220th Trail, which is marking its 74th year in business.

"Some people decided not to come to Amana because of the travel distance," he said. "We can use the people and our Amana location will be stronger."

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