Final payment for Pointe Vista due in January - - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma CLO to file lawsuit against Pointe Vista


UPDATE [Dec. 19, 2013] -- This morning, the Commissioners of the Land Office voted to file a lawsuit against Pointe Vista, a month before final payment for the property is due.

In a statement sent to KTEN, Commissioners of the Land Office Secretary Harry Birdwell said:

"The Commissioners of the Land Office has worked for months to reach a solution that will bring economic development to the area. However, in the last few weeks it has become increasingly clear that a lawsuit is one of the few remaining options to achieve a desirable outcome for the community. Today's decision does not mean we will lessen our efforts if other options present themselves."


UPDATE [Nov. 15, 2013] -- Friday, KTEN received a written response from Brent Gooden, spokesperson for Pointe Vista, regarding our news report that aired Thursday evening.

With regards to discussions with the CLO, Gooden wrote, "We continue to have dialogue with the Commissioners of Land Office as we mutually seek to find ways to move this project forward.   Our meetings are constructive and we share the same ultimate desire to bring aspects of this project to fruition sooner rather than later.  We are hopeful we will be able to share additional information as to the status in the next few weeks."

With regards to the web site description:

"Whenever a substantive development happens such as commencing of the important Environmental Impact Study that we have agreed to fund or the start of infrastructure activities, we will announce and post."

With regards to the final payment for the land:

"We will be making the final  $2.2 million payment on the total $14.6 million purchase price as outlined in the contract.   Despite the severe impact on the ability to secure financing for hospitality and residential projects during economic downturn from 2008 through 2011, we faithfully made the required payments on time and in full.  Our payments reflect our unwavering commitment to this project.   In accordance with the agreement, we will have completed the purchase of the land with our January payment."

"As we have said on several occasions, we had hoped construction activities would have started years ago.   It didn't happen mostly because the EIS has not been completed.   While the delays are unfortunate, similar projects have been indefinitely stalled and outright abandoned.  We made the payments and remain committed even today to the Texoma development."

[Posted: Nov 14, 2013 7:20 PM CST]
MARSHALL COUNTY -- The Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office met Thursday afternoon with the Pointe Vista project on its agenda.

The CLO says, because resolving problems surrounding Pointe Vista is a priority, it puts the project on its agenda for discussion at every meeting now.

A sign for Pointe Vista along Highway 70 in Marshall County advertises a "new 1,850 acre development on Lake Texoma featuring a premier master-planned community."

But, six years into a contract with state, there is no indication those claims will come true.

"It's a first-of-its kind, very bold project for Lake Texoma, and it has failed," Stephen Willis, director of the organization Restore Lake Texoma State Park said.

Pointe Vista took over 758 acres of Lake Texoma State Park in 2007.

A new hotel and convention center were included in the half-billion dollar deal.

Earlier this year, Pointe Vista asked for more time finish the project, a request Willis is against.

"We've already gone through this for six years and we're tired of the promises," Willis said.

Under the agreement, a four-star hotel was supposed to be "substantially complete" by May 2014. Now, seven months from that deadline, there is no sign of any construction.

The Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office, or CLO, says the state has hired legal council to determine its options if, and when, the May deadline is not met.

However, Willis now questions whether Pointe Vista will be held to that deadline at all if the state accepts a final payment from Pointe Vista.

"If land commissioners take the final payment in January, that we may lose this parkland and Pointe Vista is relieved of their obligation to build a hotel, a convention center, or any of the housing," Willis said.

By phone from Oklahoma City, CLO communications director Terri Watkins said, "It is currently our belief that that does not end their contractual obligations."

"This is the first we've heard of that, and that's good to hear," Willis said. "Let's see them bring that out with an official legal ruling from the Attorney General of from one of their own attorneys."

Watkins says the CLO considers the Pointe Vista project a priority, and, when asked about the next step, couldn't rule out any possible outcome including a contract extension for Pointe Vista, bringing in a new developer or what Willis would like to see happen.

"We want them to let Pointe Vista go, and create a public benefit authority that could oversee the development of the park, in its historic footprint, and a more limited commercial development north of the highway. That's the solution." Willis said.

In an April letter to Governor Mary Fallin and the Commisioners of Land Office, Pointe Vista's COO said while the company has made progress, he blamed the delays, in part, on the nations' financial crisis.

Point Vista is discussed in executive session during the CLO's monthly meetings, meaning the conversations are confidential. However, Watkins says commissioners did not vote to make any new changes during Thursday's meeting.