Monday, June 19, 2006


There are still some "ifs" left, but from all indications, Vaughn Prost's plan to renovate the downtown Heer's building is history.

Prost already missed one deadline in April. Prost told city leaders on Monday that he "has not met today’s deadline to close on financing for the Heer’s Tower redevelopment project, but that he continues to work toward securing his loan."

Upshot: The city now gets to talk to other developers who might want to take hold of the Heer's project. From a city news release:
Two letters, submitted by Mr. Prost and his funding group, Dougherty Funding LLC, indicate he has restructured his initial construction funding loan to address banking community concerns and expects to have sufficient bank-loan commitments within 30 days. He said design and construction work is proceeding on tenant infill, site preparation and brownfield remediation.

The June 17, 2006 deadline (extended to today because June 17 fell on a Saturday) gives the City the right to terminate Mr. Prost’s development agreement if financing is not secured. The City is declining to terminate his rights until further reviewing the information he submitted today. The City is working with Great Southern Bank, which financed the purchase of the building, to determine the next steps. The deal with Great Southern Bank also includes consideration of the design-build contract with Mr. Prost for the Heer’s parking deck.

The final date at which the contract would automatically terminate without a signed financing commitment is Aug. 17, 2006.
There are other developers who want a piece of the project, according to city leaders. But they'd better hurry. Prost's work has exposed the iconic downtown building to the elements. Too much of a wait, and Heer's could go the way of the Colonial Hotel, now better known as a parking lot.

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