David Wallace updates Joplin City Council on current projects - KOAM TV 7

David Wallace updates Joplin City Council on current projects


Joplin City Council and members of the community heard an update tonight from David Wallace, CEO and co-founder of Wallace Bajjali, the master developer hired by the city back in 2012.

The council also met in closed session to finalize the terms of employment for Interim City Manager Sam Anselm, the current Assistant City Manager of Joplin. The council also discussed including citizen input in the search for a new City Manager, similar to their approach in 2004.

Wallace Bajjali Development Partners say they are on schedule with all current projects.

"Even though people don't necessarily see a lot of dirt moving and construction under way, there were a lot of things that needed to be done, such as securing capital," Wallace said. "Nearly $100 million of capital has been secured over the last 12 months."

Wallace says it has also taken time to acquire the land.

"We did not own any land, so over the last year, we had to accumulate and aggregate over 50 acres of land, which we did," he said.

Some of that land will go towards the library-theater project at 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue. The library will be run by the City and "The Q Cinemas" will operate the theater.

Other projects in the works include a science and discovery center where St. John's Regional Medical Center once stood, a long with a grocery store type development off 26th and Main Streets.

Wallace also addressed concerns raised by the investigative report presented at last week's special council meeting. He says they have found 21 inconsistencies in the report.

"As we continued to dig deeper, we were amazed at the inaccuracies in the report and the mischaracterization that was contained in that report," Wallace said.

Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean says the City stands behind Wallace Bajjali.

"It's a pretty good general consensus of the council, we have full faith in Wallace Bajjali as a partnership," she said. "I think it's important that we have these updates at a more frequent time, that it will help the public understand that they are in it with us, we're all in it together."

Wallace says a construction on a number of these projects is expected to begin this year.

Wallace predicts some delays in construction over the next 7-9 months for the senior transitional housing project at 26th and McClelland, due to environmental testing required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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