"Good Ole Boy" Profits $228k In Flipping Property

Mar 18, 2013

The old social security office building on Oak Grove sat idle for years. Fifteen months ago it sold for $600k. Last month it sold again for $828k.

As Americans our culture thrives on such opportunities seized…but do you feel the same after you find out it was the citizens of Poplar Bluff footing the bill?

It was the City of Poplar Bluff who, last month, bought that old building and lot at a premium price giving the “flipper” a $228,000 profit in 15 months. According to the Recorder of Deeds:

  • 11/17/2011 – property purchased by a local businessman and wife for $599,000
  • 11/21/2011 – financed by local bank for $600,000
  • 2/19/2013 – City purchased property for $828,000

If the “flipper” just happened to be a lucky guy, that’s one thing…but that’s not the way this one smells:

  • The “flipper” sits on the executive board of that local bank
  • Our city manager sits on the executive board of that local bank
  • The owner of the engineering company currently slated for this project sits on the executive board of that local bank

It is my opinion that this is an incestuous manipulation of the market and abuse of taxpayer money…other people just call it the “Good Ole Boys” club.

I think it’s time for that club to be dismantled.

  1. Josh McCanless

    This entire article is pure conjecture and reeks of poverty-minded assumptions that making money in ways that you aren’t familiar with is wrong. Good for the people who are able to make a profit on their business deals.
    I honestly don’t know why this article has gotten under my skin, except maybe for that it’s poorly written and researched and personal opinion and assumptions are now regarded as “journalism”.

    1. Brian Becker

      Josh, Sorry to have gotten under your skin. There’s only one “opinion” in the piece and I begin that sentence with “In my opinion….” The rest of the article is not speculation, but physical, tangible information. Maybe you don’t pay taxes in PB, but the crux of this story isn’t about someone profiting and my poverty-minded assumptions…

      If this was one businessman seeing a property and buying it to further their business, that’s totally different. But this is tax-payer money used to go into the pocket of someone on the inside.

      This isn’t premium property. A building that has sat vacant for 5 years. Where’s the “Premium” in that?

      The Appraiser for this building works at the Engineering firm mentioned in the article which raises even more red flags. What comps did the appraiser use to justify this price?

      1. JP

        The appraisal process is a flawed system regardless and it is protected by our state statutes. Thats why there are appraisals for buyers and appraisals for sellers. Lenders can go as much as 30% over the market value, it allows for speculation of market values and property improvements.
        The inside trading is perfectly legal if it is done honestly, and in cases like this it often happens because the players involved are the ones that can afford to play. But as I said the only legal issue is the cities purchase, not the price. Realistically the owner probably had close to 3/4 of a million invested and that would place them at around 6 to 8% return per year on their monies thats not unreasonable. The cities purchase is whats questionable, with out knowing the facts. There are limits to and for what they can spend monies on. The allocations of funds and indebtedness is audited by the state statutes, also if the practice is questionable then those involved are public servants whether elected or appointed. They are accountable publicly.

        1. Josh McCanless

          Do you even know the plans the city had for the property? Or the plans the new owner has? If not, then imminent domain would seem to be a snatch and grab. If you have the full grasp of the situation with facts, figures and plans, you may have a better understanding of why that happened.
          But, to be honest, the legality of the situation truthfully isn’t my objection to the piece; it’s that the article is a non- objective look at a situation and regardless of how many “in my opinions” it does or does not have, it is a one-sided, obviously poor researched piece without statements from any of the participants involved in the process.
          If there IS anything that stinks here its speculation on events without fact checking or question asking and an assumption that just because its an online article that the integrity of research isn’t important because you can get people riled up by giving half-truths in the guise of a legitimate “news” source.

  2. JP

    The problem with this story is that it is all legal. MO statues chapter 362 says nothing about director business practices only that they be honest. The property owners made a risky investment, if they borrowed the money at the current short term rate of 9.25% that means they were paying close to 60k a year in interest. Not counting taxes and insurances, they had less then 4 years to flip the property before they began loosing money, very risky in todays market.
    The only real issue here is the cities purchase of the property, and their plans for the property. It has been stated that the property in that area has been changing. The cities acquisition of the property removes that property from the market and tax base. These are issues to consider: if the city managers are acting in the city’s best interest and with in the law.
    As for the business owners making a profit? God Bless them! I know when I was in business for myself it would have been a whole lot easier if people would have been glad I succeeded then tongue wagging and meddling hoping I would fail.

  3. Kevin

    Get caught at what? They won’t get a damn thing done to them except get richer while the rest of us get to pay higher taxes on our purchases with the TDD passing. I hope they are ready to purchase the rest of the properties needed for the eight point project at a premium price since they can manage to make deals for themselves like this!

  4. Denise Magruder

    Something really smells bad here. I just hope they get caught.

  5. josh McCanless

    Are you insinuating that only “lucky” ones make money off of a well planned investment?
    If there is no evidence that insider information was used then your implied accusation is
    Merely an incorrect and poverty-rooted mistrust and envy at those who have, and make money from profitable transactions when the entire impetus of most of our existence is to cause gain. If we are not going forward and increasing we are going backwards and DEcreasing. It is unprofessional to insinuate and malign persons and/or communities that see and take advantage of opportunities that you yourself did not.

  6. jerry

    welcome to the real world. you can be sure all backs was covered in this deal..

  7. Mary Jane

    Exactly what “project” is being slated for this property?

  8. earl jenkins

    People with money can make money, people without money have to work for money. If people with money stopped making money the people without money would be out of luck. As someone once said “I never worked for a poor man! “

  9. John

    Anyone could have taken this risk. Does the “flipper” own the property adjacent to the one that was sold? No. This was not the result of insider information. I’m surprised that you are just now realizing this was prime real estate. The face of Oak Grove Road has been changing for well over a year. You should go for a drive and check it out.

  10. Jeff

    Could you have taken this same risk? Could anyone else have taken this game?

  11. Jeff

    Who is this “flipper”? Are you sure he has inside information?

  12. Jeff

    Just a way to boost his “market presence”

    Who is this “flipper”? Are you sure he has inside information?

    Could you have taken this same risk? Could anyone else have taken this gamble?

  13. Vicky

    I don’t like this new hook on the homepage. I refuse to like or share an article that I haven’t read completely…therefore, I am not allowed to read the entire article, which I might very well want to share after reading.

    1. Brian Becker

      Vicky, I understand your point-of-view. On a regular story, we’ll get 15 likes max. This article had more than 70 in under 24 hours; and with each “like” we get even more exposure and more traffic from that social network.