City officials are moving ahead with plans to develop a 39-acre site on Willow Street into a shopping center--a project that had been threatened by a missing $1-million IOU.
The city's redevelopment agency had bought two acres at the site from the Davis family--brothers Don P. and Robert R. Davis and sisters Dorothy M. Davis and Sevilla May Gearhart--with $850,000 cash and a $1-million note promising to pay the remainder over six years, plus 8% annual interest.
City officials recently sought to pay off the IOU to gain clear title to the land on Willow, west of Cherry Avenue, and asked the family to return the note, as is customary in real estate deals. But the Davises said they couldn't find it.
Officials were reluctant to proceed, fearing that if the agency paid the $1 million debt without getting the note back, someone else could come forward with the document and demand that the agency pay another $1 million, City Attorney David J. Aleshire said.
Aleshire said family members finally discovered that a relative had the note.
The city's redevelopment agency already had clear title to the other 37 acres in the Town Center West project and wanted to pay off the Davises' note before selling the entire site to a developer, City Manager Douglas N. La Belle said.