Now that the Mesquite City Council released a financing agreement between the city and defunct Barcelona Partners, Bill Takahashi intends to purchase 30 acres surrounding the Solstice luxury motor coach RV Resort “and make it one of the top three destination resorts in the nation,” he told the Mesquite Local News. Bank of America holds the land after Barcelona declared bankruptcy.
The financing agreement created in 2009 called for the city to establish a Special Improvement District (SID) and sell bonds to help Barcelona build a casino and hotel on the corner of Falcon Ridge Parkway and W. Pioneer Blvd. However, then-Mayor Susan Holecheck instead loaned Barcelona $2.5 million in Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds mainly to build a road to the RV Park located near Mesa View Regional Hospital.
Barcelona later declared bankruptcy and the loan was never repaid. Bank of America foreclosed on the property in 2014.
Takahashi offered to purchase the RV Resort from the bank but first he wanted the city to remove the SID requirements so the property would be unencumbered.
During a RDA meeting held just prior to the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27, Councilman Kraig Hafen favored the action saying, “I don’t think we should put road blocks in his (Takahashi) way.”
Councilman George Rapson agreed. “The petitioner had nothing to do with the past financing agreement, the SID, or the bankruptcy,” he remarked. “The $2.5 million loan was wiped out (with the bankruptcy). I don’t want to impede his ability to get building permits for improvements to the property.”
Rapson called the 2009 loan “a gift. The lender was in first position to collect in the case of bankruptcy and the investors were in second position. The city was in third position. The bank isn’t getting anything from the bankruptcy therefore nothing will go to the second and third positions. We got the junk bonds in this deal so-to-speak.”
City Attorney Bob Sweetin recommended the council not release liens on the remaining 150 acres involved in the original land purchase by Barcelona even though the likelihood of collecting anything from the loan “is slim.”
Council voted 5-0 to release the financing agreement.
Takahashi, based in Las Vegas, told the MLN afterwards that “the City was very good to work with. Everything was so much easier here than in Las Vegas. People were nice and everyone was accessible.”
He plans to fix erosion and flooding problems in the area and improve the landscaping beginning in January 2016. In the long run he also intends to improve the restrooms, common areas, and water features.