El Viejo post office lawsuits settled out of court in Modesto

jnsbranti@modbee.comApril 28, 2014 

Old post office

FILE PHOTO -- Developer Peter Janopaul III wants to convert the old El Viejo Post Office at 12th and I streets in downtown Modesto into 10 three-story lofts and a penthouse for residential use. Each of the 10 lofts will have two of the arched windows. Janopaul stands along the wall to give an idea of how high the ceilings are.

JEFF JARDINE — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

Lawsuits between the partners who purchased the former El Viejo post office in downtown Modesto reportedly have been settled, avoiding the civil trial that was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

“The case settled. All done,” Peter Janopaul said Monday, but he would not reveal the terms. “We signed a confidentiality agreement. I can say I’m very happy with the outcome.”

The yearlong legal spat involved Janopaul, his sister Mimi Cook and Modesto investor Thomas Hogan. Together in 2011, they formed the Finch Fund, LLC, to buy the landmark federal building on I Street.

Hogan and Cook last year sued Janopaul, claiming he embezzled and defrauded them of more than $350,000. Janopaul then countersued Hogan and Cook, claiming they defrauded him in part because they didn’t want to properly fix the 80-year-old building’s seismic, asbestos and lead paint issues.

Interior renovation of the historic building is underway, and its first new tenant expects to move in this June. Janopaul said he no longer is involved with the project.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jnsbranti@modbee.com or (209) 578-2196.

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