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Update: Property of sale to Joplin's master redeveloper delayed - KOAM TV 7

Update: Property of sale to Joplin's master redeveloper delayed twice

Updated:

Updated August 8, 2014: Joplin's master redeveloper will not meet contract deadlines for the purchase of the vacant coca cola building.


Councilmember Ryan Stanley says the acquisition of the vacant coke building is a symbolic purchase.

"Frustrated, I had a lot of questions why," said Stanley.

Stanley says, Wallace Bajjali failed to close on the property as promised.

Joplin's Redevelopment Corporation has a real estate contract with the master redeveloper to purchase the building, a proposed site for new Joplin post offices.

"I don't know why there is a appraisal issue we've been trying to close this property for the last three months," said Stanley.

David Wallace of Wallace Bajjali said in a statement they look forward to completing the coke building transition, "The lender chosen by Wallace Bajjali to fund the senior loan unexpectedly indicated that they needed to secure an updated appraisal, since the one in their possession was over 1-year old. This appraisal has been ordered, and pending receipt of this appraisal, both Wallace Bajjali and its senior lender are prepared to close."

The lender Arverst Bank in Joplin, was unable to confirm this information on Friday.

The master redeveloper missed a May 16 closing day, at that time the JRC gave the company a 60 day extension.

Stanley says there has to be consequences, if this continues.

"Absolutely I think if we extend the contract out to another deadline there should be new verbiage written into the contract that create more consequence for missed deadlines," said Stanley.


Updated June 6, 2014:
Phil Stinnet, a member of the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation Inc. wants a date and time from the city's master redeveloper Wallace Bajjali on property closures.

"It's not that it's not being attempted by Wallace Bajjali they are, but the public needs to see something to recreate their confidence in these projects," Stinnet said..

Stinnet is talking about projects like the vacant Coca-Cola building.

Wallace Bajjali planed to purchase the building from the JRC and consolidate the two Joplin post offices into one location at the site, however Wallace Bajjali says that offer has been tabled.

In addition, Wallace Bajjali says a local lender backed out from the project at the last minute.

"We had a date. Our chairman showed up almost four weeks ago, and signed the papers for the closing and we still haven't gotten our money," said Stinnet.

Raymond Braswell chief operating officer with Wallace Bajjali, believes a new post office at the Coke building location is still possible.

"It seems long to the public but it's not in my experience with projects of this magnitude without a disaster can be three to 4 years in the process," said Braswell.

Braswell says he has renewed discussions with the post office through his relationships with Governor Nixon and Senator McCaskill. However it could take the better part of this year before those discussions are brought to a conclusion.

"We want some timelines, we want to establish not just a date for the project of when you're going to buy it, but how the projects are going to go," said Stinnet.

The JRC will give Wallace Bajjali 60-days to purchase the property.



Updated 5-28-2014
Below is correspondence we received from David Wallace, explaining why the former Coca-Cola property still hasn't been sold to Joplin's master redeveloper, Wallace Bajjali.

"Thank you very much for your interest in the coca cola building purchase. We at Wallace Bajjali truly enjoy the collaboration we share with the city of Joplin, it's leadership and it's citizens.At this time the final use of the coca cola building is yet to be determined. Perhaps you remember our intended tenant was to be the US Postal Service. Earlier this year, the US Postal Service suggested a proposal to the city and our team that simply was not economically viable. Though we hope to come to a more suitable agreement with them in the future, an agreement has not yet been achieved.

As for the closing, as I am sure you are aware, lenders tend to march to their own time. We will be closing on this opportunity as soon as the building meets underwriting and documentation approval. The internal approval for Wallace Bajjali has been met for sometime. We have developed a great patience for this process over the years and cannot think of a project in which we are more excited about going the distance.

I look forward to visiting with you again soon. In the meantime, have a great afternoon and please feel free to reach out to me whenever you have questions.

Thanks Jordan.

David"

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A Joplin city councilman says he might lose faith in the city's master redeveloper, if a key transaction is not made by the end of this week.  Last week, the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation was set to sell its first piece of property to the Wallace Bajjali development company.

The property is a former Coca-Cola facility on 1301 Virginia Avenue.

"To my understanding, the funding package was not complete on Friday, and that was the hang up.  That the paperwork is all in good order, the paperwork is all in escrow, the property is ready to close, as soon as the funding comes together," says Joplin Councilman Ryan Stanley.

The sale transaction has yet to be completed.

One city official, who asked that we did not use their name, is worried Wallace Bajjali has financial troubles.  One of the men in charge of Wallace Bajjali says that's not the case.

"There are still some outstanding issues that we are negotiating," says David Wallace.

Wallace says all that's keeping the property from being sold to his development firm are routine legal matters.

"If anybody were to acquire a home, they were to acquire an office building, land, any other real estate, obviously there are significant terms associated with a real estate transaction, as well as with the funding.  We are in the final stages of negotiating the final loan documents with our senior lender," says Bajjali.

"This experience and this transaction will be a telling story in Wallace Bajjali's future in Joplin," says Stanley.

Stanley says he's willing to give Wallace Bajjali the benefit of the doubt, this time around.

"Well, it's safe to say that if you know when the closing date is, we would expect all the financing and all the pre-work to be done.  But we know that with real estate deals, things can come up at the last minute," says Stanley.

Stanley says the sale transaction should be completed by this Friday.

"I would say if we don't have a clear definition on why there's a delay by Friday, that is a credible and logical answer, then I'm going to be very, very, very proactive and very, very concerned in finding out the financial strength of Wallace Bajjali," says Stanley.

David Wallace expects the sale to happen within the next day or two.

Wallace Bajjali wants to build a new post office on this property.  The post office has turned down this offer in the past, but David Wallace wants to make this offer again.


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