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Economy & Business

McKee's Hazelwood development sold at auction

Hazelwood Logistics Center, Paul McKee

Paul McKee’s Hazelwood Logistics Center now belongs to a Kansas City company.

NP Hazelwood 140 held an auction Friday of all of Hazelwood Logistics Center’s assets and land, then entered the only bid of $9.2 million.

The 165-acre site is at Lindbergh Boulevard and Missouri Bottom Road in north St. Louis County. McKee had planned an industrial and logistics center. But the project became mired in legal trouble, including a $31 million judgment BancorpSouth Bank won against McKee and the company in 2011 over defaulted loans.

NP Hazelwood 140 took over that judgment in March and moved quickly to gain control of the land, announcing the auction earlier this month.

Another Kansas City company, NorthPoint Development, has a stake in NP Hazelwood 140 and plans to develop the site. CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn told St. Louis Public Radio a few weeks ago that its vision for a distribution center is similar to what McKee had planned.

"We like the location from a logistics standpoint, and we like the St. Louis industrial market," Hagedorn said.

He said construction will begin this summer on a 200,000 square foot warehouse. Eventually the site could have up to 2.5 million square feet of warehouse space.

While McKee and Hazelwood Logistics Center had filed suit against NP Hazelwood 140, an attorney for McKee said all litigation has ended. Howard Smotkin attended the auction on Friday and told reporters afterward that a global settlement had been reached.

"Hazelwood Logistics Center, LLC and Paul McKee have reached a settlement, which will resolve pending litigation involving them regarding the Hazelwood Logistics Center Project, including satisfaction of the judgment entered against Mr. McKee several years ago by BancorpSouth Bank," Smotkin said in a prepared statement. "The settlement enables a new developer for the site to move forward with the project."

McKee still faces legal issues over other projects. Those include a federal suit filed by PNC Bank over $8.3 million it claims the developer defaulted on for his Three Springs at Shiloh project. Titan Fish Two, a Kansas-based entity, is seeking more than $17 million it says McKee’s Northside Regeneration failed to pay back in loans.

Titan Fish Two also has a suit pending against McKee’s McEagle Properties LLC over $2.5 million it’s claiming in defaulted loans. Triad Bank intervened in the suit and earlier this month held an auction of McEagle’s assets. Another of McKee’s holding companies settled the debt by buying the assets for nearly $750,000. In another auction, Titan Fish Two bought a 95 percent membership interest in McEagle for $100,000.

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