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Redwood City’s Fox Theatre changing hands again

Lori and Eric Lochtefeld in the Fox Theatre in Redwood City on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, not long after it was announced they had purchased the building. (Kirstina Sangsahachart/ Daily News)

The historic Fox Theatre in Redwood City is changing hands again.

Eric and Lori Lochtefeld, who bought it out of foreclosure in 2010, are selling it to Peter Pau of Sand Hill Property Company.

It’s a sale/lease-back deal, said Lori Lochtefeld on Tuesday, with her and her husband staying on to manage the property for four years.

That will give Pau and his company time to “replace the team and get everybody in place,” she said. “People have to understand the business, and it takes time to learn how to run it properly.”

Lochtefeld said that she and her husband had put the word out that they wanted to sell the Fox, and that Pau made the best offer that was in line with what they wanted for the property.

“He was the only one who wanted to run the historic theater and do good things in Redwood City,” she said, adding that some offers came from people who were talking about converting the theater, which opened its doors on Jan. 2, 1929, for uses such as a hardware store.

“No, it has to stay as it is,” Lochtefeld said. “It’s part of the community, it’s where people come to see shows. If we were going to sell it, we wanted someone that aligned with our own thought processes, and our goals for the theater. Peter Pau is a very smart man who wants to be in Redwood City.”

The building has 20,000 square feet of theater space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 10,000 square feet of office space. The office space is 100 percent rented, Lochtefeld said, with long-term leases that will remain in effect. The major office tenants are Upthere, Inc., a cloud-computing company; and DeepDive, a data management company.

The Lochtefelds paid $6 million for the Fox in 2010, and their asking price this year was $20 million. They would not release the actual sales price.

Lochtefeld said that in four years, she and her husband will have been running the theater for 10 years, and would want to start a family, which is why they were willing to sell it.

Pau on Tuesday said he “had been looking around for a venue for use by non-profits. We support non-profits, and this would be one way to try to support them. It’s a good venue, with good parking and lots of seats. … It’s really hard to find a place that can hold that many people.”

Pau and his wife Susanna, who co-founded Sand Hill Property Company with him, also are active in the SHP Foundation, a large charitable organization they founded. Christians who are active in their church, they contribute to many causes.

The Fox will be used for “religious events, charity functions,” said Pau. “We try to help in different ways, and not focus on one particular one.

“When you raise money, most of it goes to paying for the place where the event is held. That’s kind of silly,” Pau said Tuesday. “You net a small percent of what you raise.”

The major tenant at the Fox is Broadway By The Bay, which will continue to operate there. Club Fox, which is operated by Eric Loctefeld’s brother, Charlie Lochtefeld, will also continue to operate as it has.