BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
12/02/09 at 4:03 AM
SpiritBank isn't just the namesake of SpiritBank Event Center anymore — it also is the owner.
The Tulsa-based bank has taken over ownership and management of the 4,500-seat center in Bixby as well as Regal Plaza, a surrounding 130,000-square-foot retail and office complex, from the Remy Cos. in exchange for wiping out almost $28 million in mortgages.
The Remy Cos. constructed the $50 million project in 2006, and continued to operate Regal Plaza and the event center until transferring it to SpiritBank earlier this month, said Joyce Madewell, executive vice president of marketing for the bank.
She confirmed the property transfer in an e-mail SpiritBank sent to the Tulsa World.
"It was mutually agreed by Home Ventures Inc. and by SpiritBank that SpiritBank would own and operate Regal Plaza and the SpiritBank Event Center at this time," according to the e-mail supplied by Madewell.
Tulsa County land records indicate Home Ventures Inc., an arm of the Remy Cos., transferred ownership of the property to SpiritBank this month, with no associated taxes that would indicate a sale price.
Madewell's e-mail also confirmed SpiritBank financed construction of Regal Plaza and the events center.
Tulsa County legal documents associated with the property indicate SpiritBank lent Home Ventures Inc. nearly $22 million in 2006, $5 million February 2008 and $991,000 in June of this year. The deed to SpiritBank noted Home Ventures has been released from these mortgages in exchange for the property.
Madewell did not elaborate on the details of the transaction, or the bank's specific plans for managing the complex. Officials at the Remy Cos. were not available for comment.
In Madewell's e-mail, she said that both the event center and Regal Plaza are viable now and will remain so in the future.
"The project's intent — to benefit Bixby and south Tulsa — continues to be SpiritBank's commitment," she said. "It is on track to achieve the benefits envisioned. We anticipate robust events at the center to come, and additions to the already outstanding tenants at Regal Plaza."
A number of stores, offices and restaurants, including Savastano's Pizzeria, Clubhouse Bar & Grille, It's Greek to Me, Which Wich and South of the Border are open at Regal Plaza and the event center, though significant vacancies were visible during a visit to the center Tuesday.
During an August interview with the Tulsa World, Sam Remy, vice president of operations at the Remy Cos., said Regal Plaza was 85 percent occupied but many of the tenants had yet to move in.
In May, the Tulsa 66ers sued Home Ventures Inc., claiming the company owed more than $100,000 and hadn't paid anything to the professional basketball franchise during its single year as a tenant in the arena.
The suit was settled out of court on Nov. 10. The 66ers now play at the Tulsa Convention Center.
The Bixby center has held several large events in recent months, including a concert by pop singer Steve Miller. The facility's Web site shows activities such as gun shows and an art festival listed through March.
Tulsa World staff writer Curtis Killman contributed to this article.
Robert Evatt 581-8447
People wait outside the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby on the night of a rock concert. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Regal Plaza businesses and the SpiritBank Event Center are on Memorial Drive between 101st and 111th streets. STEPHEN HOLMAN / Tulsa World file