Joplin officials might know today if the city’s application for tax credits that could net $5.1 million will be approved by the state.
“It’s in; it was filed yesterday,” said David Wallace, chief executive officer of the Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, on Tuesday of an application to Missouri’s Distressed Land Assemblage Tax Credit Program. “We got all of the documentation, which is pretty extensive, that needed to be submitted” sent electronically on Monday followed up by hard copies delivered overnight and received by the DED on Tuesday.
Wallace said the firm closed a land deal on Monday morning that completed the acquisition of 50 acres in Joplin’s tornado zone needed to meet redevelopment requirements of the tax credit program.
“We’re hoping the Department of Economic Development will issue the appropriation letter today,” he said Tuesday, or, if not then, today. He said the firm calculated that the state would issue $5.7 million in tax credits based on the value of the land bought by the city’s land bank, the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation, for redevelopment projects. Wallace expects to sell the tax credits for about 90 cents on the dollar, which he said would net about $5.1 million cash. That money would go to the JRC for future economic development projects beyond the $806 million proposed by the Wallace Bajjali firm as Joplin’s contracted master developer, Wallace said previously.
“We’re optimistic about that as we have been all along,” Wallace said of the application. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with the state and the Department of Economic Development.”
The property the firm bought Monday was a tract that Mercy has donated to the city of Joplin at the southeast corner of 26th Street and McClelland Boulevard where St. John’s Regional Medical Center was destroyed by the 2011 tornado.
Two public sessions will be held Thursday to seek input from residents as to what should be built on the land. There was some discussion last year that it could become the site of a tornado museum. Those sessions will be held at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the basement of City Hall.
The reason quick action is sought on the application is because the program expires today. The DED had said earlier that if Joplin’s application was received by Aug. 27, it could be reviewed in time.
The tax credit program was intended to redevelop blighted areas, and, in particular, was used by a St. Louis developer, Paul McKee. He received $41 million for a north St. Louis redevelopment project. McKee asked the Legislature to extend the program to 2019, but it did not.
Wallace told the JRC last month there was a possibility Joplin could claim the money if the JRC stepped up land acquisitions to meet the land redevelopment requirements.
29 acres more
The JRC had acquired about 26 acres of land for redevelopment projects and had to finish deals on 29 acres that were under contract to apply for the tax credit program.