The Joplin City Council has made a 20-year deal with the ownership group of a minor league baseball team, but recent reports have shown that the group has some negative ties to Joplin's Master Developer. Matt LaBranche of the Suarez Group tells News Talk KZRG about it:
"To specify, it wasn't our group, it was Michael Wray, who is a partner on the real estate side with our group. He had some dealings with David Wallace of Wallace Bajjali in Waco, TX, in a deal that went bad, I guess."
Labranche adds that residents shouldn't be worried: "It was a coincidence that Mr. Wallace was working in Joplin on the redevelopment efforts. We looked to Joplin for the baseball side of things, nothing more. We signed a 20-year lease with the City, we could've done 10, but we wanted to assure everyone that we're here for the long run."
He adds that their operations will be separate from anything Master Developer Wallace Bajjali does in Joplin, and there should be no impact on plans to have the team up and running in Joplin by May 2015.