Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks sold to Creek Nation for $11.5 million
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
4/17/12 at 4:45 PM
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief George Tiger personally made the winning bid during the auction of Riverwalk Crossing.
With the $11.5 million purchase during the Tulsa County Sheriff auction, the tribe will claim ownership over the entire shopping and office center along the Arkansas River in Jenks.
The sale becomes final in 30 days.
Tiger said immediately after the auction that the foreclosure sale gave the tribe the chance to expand their business holdings.
“We felt we had an opportunity to pick up a center at an excellent location and give us the opportunity to diversify our business,” he said.
Additionally, the purchase allowed the tribe to add to their land holdings along the west bank of the Arkansas River, Tiger said.
The Riverwalk Crossing will continue to operate much like it has since it first opened in 2005.
“Our first move will be to look for a good management group to help attract more tenants,” he said.
The number of retail tenants at the center has dramatically thinned in recent months, leaving most of the center empty.
However, tenants such as Los Cabos, The Melting Pot and Marble Slab Creamery continue to operate there.
Tiger said the tribe has no plans to institute gaming at Riverwalk Crossing. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s flagship casino, the River Spirit Casino, is along the east bank of the Arkansas River immediately north of Riverwalk Crossing.
Tiger said the decision to purchase Riverwalk Crossing was last-minute, and tribal officials worked through the weekend to put together a purchase plan. The plan was approved by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council last night.
The approved plan gave Tiger the authority to spend above the property’s assessed value of $17 million, though their winning bid was much lower.
“To get it at that price makes us ecstatic,” he said.
The purchase officially ends years of lawsuits over the fate of the center. Jerry Gordon originally built the center, though in 2009 he filed suit against TR Gardens Corp. and David Salomon, an investor in the center, alleging purposeful mismanagement.
By the next year, Salomon had assumed full ownership.
In February of 2011, American national Bank of Texasfiled for foreclosure against the center, claiming that the current ownership entity controlled by Salomon, RWC Management, failed to repay three loans totaling $28.1 million.
In ruling February of this year, Tulsa County District Judge Rebecca Brett Nightingale ruled in favor of the bank and ordered the property into foreclosure.
The Creek Nation purchased Riverwalk Crossing in Jenks, which entered foreclosure in February, at a Tulsa County Sheriff auction Tuesday. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World