Wallace-Bajjali Firm Members Meet With the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation

By Carla Pesono

Published 06/10 2014 09:40PM

Updated 06/10 2014 10:15PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- The Wallace-Bajjali firm has run into some issues finalizing land buys for the former Coca-Cola Bottling Company Distribution Building at 1301 South Virginia in Joplin. Their plan was to use that location for a consolidated post office. The firm came across some disagreements with the U.S. Postal Service. Now, the firm is trying to revive discussions with the post office.

"That's going to take some time, and so what David Wallace is committed is that within the next 60 days, he will go ahead and close on the property and we'll just own the Coke building until we can determine what we can do with it," said Raymond Braswell, Chief Operating Officer for Wallace-Bajjali.

As far as the projects for 20th and Connecticut go, Braswell says they are about to enter into an agreement with a theater company at that location next month. This theater won't be as large as the Regal Northstar Stadium 14.

"The site at 20th and Connecticut is much more conducive for more of a boutique theater. It will be a high-end theater in that it will have premium seating, probably food and beverage, a large screen format," he said. 

The firm also addressed the public's concerns for the delay of the proposed projects. Braswell says as development moves forward things change, so there shouldn't have been specific dates said earlier in the process to confuse residents.

"They should have waited until closer to now when you can really see when projects will actually get started," he said. 

JRC Board Member Phil Stinnett says moving forward, the firm needs to tell the public the reality of when all projects will get started and completed.

"We were telling the people things that we really didn't have 100% accuracy on guarantees," said Phil Stinnett, JRC Board Member.

"Seems long to the public, but it's not. My experience in projects at this magnitude without a disaster can be three to four years in the process," said Braswell. 

Many properties surrounding the 20th and Connecticut project were due to be purchased by Wallace-Bajjali from the JRC on July 3rd. Since the firm won't be able to purchase them by then, the board and Wallace-Bajjali are figuring out what the new dates will be.

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