Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2010

With $2.95 million offer, couple outbid development group for prime property near Lecompton interchange

A prime piece of real estate in Lawrence was finally sold in an auction Thursday. The land, which is expected to be used for an industrial park, sold for just less than $3M.

July 15, 2010, 11:20 a.m. Updated July 15, 2010, 5:50 p.m.


It was high-price ping-pong.

Steve Schwada, member of a longtime Lawrence development family, sat on the back row of the jury assembly room. Penny Tuckel, member of a longtime Lawrence agriculture family, sat on the front row.

A crowded room watched as multimillion-dollar bids bounced from one side of the room and then the other. At stake in this closely watched Douglas County Sheriff’s auction was the future of one of Lawrence’s prime pieces of industrial property: 155 acres just north of the Lecompton interchange on the Kansas Turnpike.

Tuckel and her husband, Russell, won ownership of the property with a $2.95 million bid. But now questions are emerging about what the future holds for the site, which economic development leaders have touted because of its proximity to Interstate 70.

After the auction, Tuckel declined to say whether her group would seek immediate development of the property, which has become a leading site for a new warehouse for Berry Plastics.

“The city/county government, and many others, have taken an intense interest in the proposed use of the parcel, and I feel sure all involved will keep the best interests of the city of Lawrence and Douglas County residents at heart,” Tuckel said in a written statement.

Court-ordered sale

The property had been jointly owned by the Tuckels and a development group led by Schwada. A Douglas County District Court judge ordered the sale after a lawsuit was filed by Schwada’s group saying the two sides no longer could agree about the property’s future. Schwada had asked for the property to be split in half, but the judge ruled the equitable manner to dissolve the joint ownership was through a sale.

Bidding started at $1.3 million, and 29 bids later the auction was over when Schwada declined to go any further. The auction was open to all bidders, but only Tuckel and Schwada bid. The winner was required to present a cashier’s check for the full $2.95 million within two hours.

In the lawsuit leading up to the sale, allegations were made that the Tuckels were not interested in immediately developing the property, although the Tuckels have said the Berry Plastics project does interest them.

Berry has been seeking a site for a 600,000-square-foot warehouse to support its plastic drink cup manufacturing facility in Lawrence. Berry had been doing its negotiating with Schwada.

Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx said he’s planning to meet with all parties involved to see whether the project can remain on track.

“This piece of property is important for the city’s future tax base,” Amyx said. “As we look to bring job growth to Lawrence, we need to have property that is suited for all types of jobs. This property does that.”

Neighbors watching

Neighbors near the site have filed two lawsuits related to the zoning and annexation of the property. A spokesman for the neighborhood group said the new ownership could ease some of their concerns.

“I think the neighbors will welcome this as a positive development,” Dave Ross said. “We hope the new owners will be willing to work with the neighborhood so we can all have something that would be good for the community and positive for the neighbors.”

Ross said neighbors have seen plans for the Berry warehouse and believe it can work on the site with proper screening. But neighbors want all the property zoned to a lesser industrial zoning category to remove the possibility that the site could be developed with a truck stop or other more intensive uses.


BrianR 7 years, 11 months ago

"The land was sold at a sheriff’s auction at the order of a Douglas County District Court judge when the Schwadas and Tuckels — who jointly owned the property — no longer could agree on its future. "

Why does the District Court care whether two property owners can't agree on how to use the property they own? I'm sure there is more to this story, it's just absent from the article.

John Hamm 7 years, 11 months ago

You should read the previous article(s) wherin all is explained. They couldn't come to an agreement as to which of them owned the more desirable piece of the property so now they both lose..

mdfraz 7 years, 11 months ago

Because.........that's what happens when a lawsuit is filed? When two parties have a dispute they go to court. Like here.

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

It was also stated in earlier articles that the Tuckels may not have been paid money owed to them by Schwada from a business dealing they were both involved in. The bad blood goes deeper than the property.

KU_cynic 7 years, 11 months ago

I would infer that the parties agreed to a sale as directed by the judge, with whoever wanted pay the most for the property in effect buying out the other side. It's the kind of outcome that could have been avoided -- at even the 11th hour I imagine -- if they could have come to a private resolution of their differences. A textbook case of what to do when property is owned jointly and the owners can't agree what to do with it.

somedude20 7 years, 11 months ago

my guess would be the American Indians as this land was their land or God since people believe me made this mudball I guess he trumps that Indians

outbiddersRwinners 7 years, 11 months ago

"But Penny Tuckel after the auction stopped short of saying her group would seek immediate development of the property."

Sounds like Tuckels going to hold the ground hostage until the city makes the taxpayers cough up the cash to develop the site for her? She can’t do it without them. Tuckels took it to the taxpayers before when they robbed the city over some ground for rights of way and a park site.

The headline reads “couple outbid development group”. She’s quoted saying her group, is it a couple or group? If it’s a group who’s in the group, maybe their old partners that she supposedly outbid are just hiding in the background till the dust settles. The neighbors acted like they had it rough before, now the real fun begins.

I agree with BrianR, thanks

Check back later for more details.

tcs 7 years, 11 months ago

Technically they only paid $1.475M plus their original investment in the property. If Berry builds the building and it is a triple net lease they'd only need collect about $15K a month and would still have half the property to develop.

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, much of the last ground developed on the west edge of town went for around $60,000+ per acre so this is cheap if you want to call it that.

nekansan 7 years, 11 months ago

The county is likely just happy to have a nice new property valuation which they can base taxes on.....

outbiddersRwinners 7 years, 11 months ago

? Anyone else tired of reading what Dave Ross wants to happen on property he doesn't own

Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

Taxpayers cannot afford to ADD new infrastructure anywhere.

Development should wait until taxpayers say OKAY!

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

If you have been paying attention for the past say 30 years. Most development has to pay for ALL of its own infrastructure. Any new housing development carries specials with it to the tune of about $12,000-$15.000 per lot. These are paid to the city over 10 years with interest or they are paid up front and the price of the lot is increased to pay them off without interest. Those days of the city paying for everything are very long gone. I get sick of people who still live in the 1970's. Your info is not anywhere up-to-date. Sometimes the city will do something small to get the tax dollars on commercial property but usually it's the business or neighborhood that pays the cost of infrastructure. Now get in your HOT-TUB TIME MACHINE and jump forward to 2010.

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh yeah, we don't need new jobs we? This is exactly the kind of thing we need to foster. Please complain a little more about something that could make our local economic picture better. I just hate it when someone wants to give us a few new jobs or invest in our future. No jobs=no Lawrence or insane property taxes. Properties like this lower the tax burden on your home.

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 11 months ago

It's 11 permanent jobs, and Berry has got $11M in stimulus to build this warehouse.

Keep in mind that this is a warehouse, not a factory or an design firm or even a doctors office. Does our city and county leadership think that the best road forward is lined with warehouses?

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

You must have a place to store the product you make and store the material to make product. This could be part of a larger picture you are missing. If they need and have the space it could lead to future expansion.

Michael Capra 7 years, 11 months ago

well well well no russ at the party u sent penny the boss sarduchi and she told u russ. u bought a peice of ground and showed them. u made them cry all the way to the bank .penny showed u russ how to lose money ur the best penny we love u

Michael Capra 7 years, 11 months ago

berry plastics wont meet with penny she allready pissed them off

Michael Capra 7 years, 11 months ago

my bet is ross and penny are doing the secret hand shake

outbiddersRwinners 7 years, 11 months ago

With the ground cost at 20k acre before improvements, no utilities, one shot wonders for owners, how can this site economically compete with nearby communities that currently offer publicly owned, shovel ready sites, sky’s the limit incentives, tax abatements, in some cases free ground, a community full of ready to work potential employees and no law suits by surrounding property owners bogging down the sites development.

Hoots 7 years, 11 months ago

The whole thing sounded like an old fashioned wizzing contest. Mine's bigger. I do wonder if they won the battle. Time will tell I guess.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 11 months ago

How dare someone have that kind of money!!

This is a 'share the wealth' nation now!!

Mr. Obama, give us some of that money!!

Or at lest nationalize this woman and her family.

JSDAD 7 years, 11 months ago

wonder what roa was on the sale since i guess she will get half the money back since she owned half of the land to begin with?

youngjayhawk 7 years, 11 months ago

All I can say is ... it must be nice to have that kind of money!

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