The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 26, 2013

Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to hear details of bond sale

Redevelopment funds of $18 million from Joplin’s first round of bond sales backed by the newly-created tax increment finance district have been received and will be one of the topics of discussion Tuesday at a meeting of the Joplin Redevelopment Corp.

The city’s finance director, Leslie Haase, is slated to give the JRC a financial report and ask the board for approval to repay a loan for the purchase of property.

David Wallace, with Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the city’s contracted master developer, said that expenses from the bond sale also are due. Those include legal and consulting fees that Haase will enumerate to the JRC.

Haase said she expects the city to realize about $13 million after expenses. The money is to be used for redevelopment projects. A portion is earmarked for repayment of a loan the JRC obtained from a consortium of eight local banks to fund land purchases for some of the projects.

Haase said she will have the final calculations on the transactions related to the bonds at the meeting Tuesday.

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. handled the bond sale for what is described as the largest TIF district in Missouri history. The district will capture a portion of the property and sales taxes generated from new growth in the tornado zone and through a portion of mid-Joplin and downtown. The TIF district proceeds are projected to be $57 million over the 23-year duration of the district.

In other business Tuesday, Wallace will ask the board to ratify the purchase of the former Salvation Army Thrift Store property at the northwest corner of 26th and Main streets. The board previously voted to approve the purchase of the block where the thrift store was destroyed by the 2011 tornado. The purchase is ready to close and a certificate ratifying the sale is needed from the board to complete it, Wallace said.

The Wallace firm proposes to build a retail and loft development there. Wallace said it will be anchored by a grocery store of 15,000 square feet with approximately 5,000 square feet of retail space and 10 loft units. He has not yet disclosed what grocery chain has spoken for a site there.

Additionally, the board will be asked to approve a short-term lease for the Joplin School District to possibly use the former Coca Cola Bottling Co.’s building at 1301 Virginia Ave. The JRC previously approved the purchase of the former bottling plant.

Wallace said it is proposed as the site for a future consolidated Joplin post office. It would take the place of the two existing post offices at First and Main streets and 32nd and Main streets. He said his firm is trying to buy more land in the area for the project.

One of the projects planned for Joplin’s redevelopment, a theater and arts complex downtown, would be located in the area of First and Main streets where the current post office is located.

Wallace said Joplin schools was looking for places to store books for a couple of weeks until school starts Aug. 15. The district may not need the Coke site, he said. “We are just positioning it so if they want to use it we already have approval,” he said.

The JRC board also will be asked to accept the resignation of one of its members, Michael Hagan. Hagan, a banker, had previously expressed discomfort with not having more time to review a redevelopment agreement for the TIF district before voting on it at a meeting in May. Distribution of the agreement had been delayed by changes and reviews that occurred with the bond issuers and city staff. The agreement specifies how TIF district revenues are to be paid out.

The Joplin City Council will be called on to name a replacement to the board. A dozen applications were received when the council made appointments last month to fill two newly created seats on the JRC board, expanding it from five to seven. The board seats were increased so that it would have more voters when members are absent or abstain.

Meeting set

The JRC, also known as the 353 Board, meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

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