MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

January 12, 2014

State agency sues developer over Texoma project delay

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office is suing the developer of the former Lake Texoma State Park in an effort to force Pointe Vista LLC to either move forward with the project or sell the land back to the state.

The Oklahoman reported that the lawsuit against Pointe Vista, filed Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court, comes ahead of a May deadline for the developer to have work substantially completed on a four-star hotel.

“Even though the stated deadline for completion of the hotel and convention center has not yet passed, Pointe Vista’s statements, actions and inaction amount to a repudiation of Pointe Vista’s promise to substantially complete construction of the hotel and convention center by May 28, 2014,” according to the lawsuit.

“Among other things, Pointe Vista has failed to obtain financing for the project, necessary utility plans or construction plans for the resort,” the lawsuit says.

If the court finds that Pointe Vista cannot be forced to build the hotel, the state agency should be allowed to buy back the land from Pointe Vista, according to the court filing.

In a statement, Pointe Vista said that it had been expecting the lawsuit since the land office authorized its attorneys to move ahead with litigation in December.

“We will review the lawsuit,” Pointe Vista said in the statement. “Since this is now a legal matter, it is inappropriate for us to comment on specifics of the suit.”

The Commissioners of the Land Office “is prepared to restore the purchase price or so much thereof as Pointe Vista may be entitled,” the agency said in the lawsuit.

In a statement, Gov. Mary Fallin’s spokesman said that she and the other members of the land office felt the lawsuit was the only option they had left.

“The legal action they took will move the Pointe Vista issue off high center and closer to a solution that leads to economic development and allows the state and local residents to fully utilize the area’s natural resources and beauty,” Alex Weintz, a spokesman for Fallin, said.

“The governor still believes the Lake Texoma property has great potential for tourism and job creation for southern Oklahoma.”

Pointe Vista, led by Chaparral Energy CEO Mark Fischer, his son Scott Fischer and Aubrey McClendon, the founder of American Energy Partners LP, was selected by the state in 2006 to develop part of Lake Texoma State Park, including the site of a now-demolished state lodge.

The developer signed a deal to purchase 758 acres of park land for $14.6 million.

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