Joplin developer Charlie Kuehn, Wallace-Bajjali's partner on the project, elaborated on that earlier tonight while speaking to the Joplin City Council.
"We're still going to be asking for money," Kuehn said, saying that if he had more city funding he could "enhance" the project and make it better than projects on 32nd Street and Rangeline.
The $4 million is needed, Kuehn said, "to make this two or three steps above a strip center."
Kuehn's remarks came during discussion on two zoning requests for the project, which were passed on first reading. Council members asked him how he was dealing with landowners who had not sold their property to make room for the development. Kuehn said he was taking care of their requests.
"Landowners are like children," he said. "They all want different things."
The Towne Center project includes what has been described as a "boutique-style" theater, which will be surrounded by restaurants. Other buildings will feature offices and retail businesses.
The center is being designed to fit in with the new Joplin Public Library, which originally was part of the project, which started with the notion of a two-story building with the library on the bottom and the theater on the second floor.
Wallace-Bajjali had been scheduled to buy the properties in that area by the end of the calendar year, but asked for additional time. An extension was granted until February.
The extension request was made shortly after Wallace-Bajjali announced the $4 million shortfall.
Despite the delays, Kuehn said the projects will begin in March or early April.
"But I'm not committing to that."
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