The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 13, 2013

Master developer outlines proposal for senior housing

By Susan Redden

JOPLIN, Mo. — A proposal for a $35 million project to develop what is termed about 150 units of senior transitional housing was outlined to the Joplin City Council on Monday night by the city’s master developer.

The project, in the area of 26th Street and McClelland Boulevard, is being proposed for development by Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners in cooperation with O’Reilly Development Co. of Springfield.

During a special City Council meeting on Monday, David Wallace, CEO of Wallace-Bajjali, said the goal of the project will be offer “a first-class senior living facility that would serve Joplin residents and attract others to the community.”

The Springfield company would join as co-developer and operational partner with Wallace-Bajjali, the firm contracted to oversee tornado redevelopment projects in Joplin, to form SWJOMO Seniors LLC. O’Reilly has been involved in earlier Joplin projects, including Frisco Station Apartments and Zahn Apartments.

Included in the project would be 50-unit complex for seniors that can live independently, a 40-unit complex for assisted living and a 24-unit “memory care complex.” The three buildings would be constructed on the southwest corner of 26th Street and McClelland Boulevard. A nearby tract just south of the Joplin Elks Lodge would house 40, two-bedroom patio homes. Wallace said the two properties would be linked by an easement so that residents of the patio homes could easily reach senior services to be provided at the other complex.

“It would serve seniors starting with those who want to still own a house, but without the maintenance, and those who want to rent, all the way to those who need more extensive care,” Wallace said.

The complex will include a common area, exercise room, food service and wellness center on a development to include green space, sidewalks, walking trails and water features.

The property at 26th Street and McClelland already has been acquired by the Joplin Redevelopment Corp., the city board that is buying land for tornado redevelopment projects. Plans call for the south portion of the property to be acquired by September. The two tracts would be purchased by SWJOMO Seniors, at a combined cost of more than $4.3 million, by no later than April 2014.

Wallace said financing for the project would come from nearly $25 million in private equity and debt, and the partnership would seek approval from the city for $4.5 million in federal grant funds that would be used for site development, plus $6 million in financing from the Joplin Tax Increment Financing District.

Applications for the TIF financing have been presented to the TIF board, he said, and the development will have to meet all other project conditions, including city zoning and permit requirements.

Denise Mathison, director of operations and development for O’Reilly, said the company currently is completing a similar project in Springfield. Wallace said Wallace-Bajjali owns a senior living complex in Missouri City, Texas.

Councilman Mike Siebert complimented Wallace on choosing O’Reilly as partners in the venture and on developing a project that will serve seniors.

Council members also quizzed Wallace on other projects under way, and he reviewed land acquisition for residential projects and mix-used developments. He said the firm is continuing to talk with grocery store chains concerning locations at 20th Street and Connecticut Avenue and 26th and Main Streets.

Street projects

The council also approved contracts with Snyder Construction Co. on a project to widen 26th Street from Schifferdecker Avenue to Maiden Lane at a cost of $1,950,065, and with APAC-Missouri, to widen Schifferdecker Avenue from Seventh to 32nd streets at a cost of $1,936,905. The projects are among two to be paid for with the $12 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant awarded to Joplin last year by the U.S. Department of Transportation.