The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 23, 2012

Our View: Strong local leadership

When Wallace Bajjali Development Partners rolled out the names of people who would be heading up a Joplin office, it was reassuring to see the depth of local experience.

The Texas firm selected by the Joplin City Council to act as a master developer as the town rebuilds following the May 22, 2011, tornado has started work on 19 very ambitious projects.

Among them are housing developments, a new library, a performing and visual arts complex, and land acquisitions.

Gary Box is an ideal choice as project manager. Box has deep roots in Joplin and is known for his expertise in economic development. Christine Bryant, Bruce Anderson and Karen Love will join Box, bringing their knowledge of real estate, mortgage lending and Joplin’s business community.

It’s a strong way to open the doors on the new office. All four are leaving their jobs and will be full-time employees of Wallace Bajjali. It means they can devote all their time to this critical part of Joplin’s big picture.

This phase of Joplin’s renaissance, if you will, is new to all of us. Some of the projects are easy to understand. Housing, for example, must be given priority. Others, at first glance, will have to pass the sustainability test before the first shovel of dirt can be turned.

We’re entering uncharted waters. It helps knowing these familiar faces are on board.

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