GRAND RAPIDS - A major chunk of property for a billion dollar mystery development is no longer for sale. The owner, Mark London and the developer were supposed to sign a purchase agreement Thursday afternoon but that never happened.
The city is blaming London for refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement, “My understanding from the developers this afternoon is that Mr. London refused to sign the affidavit that they require to close the deal”, says Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, “And they weren't going to close without that affidavit." But property owner Mark London says that affidavit was never part of the original buy/sell agreement, "They wanted to extend the agreement. They wanted me to sign an agreement that I wouldn't speak to the news media I was not willing to do that."
A copy of the affidavit was faxed to London's office by the developer's representatives 55 minutes before closing the deal. It states that by signing the affidavit London would not be able to talk about the project and if he did the developer would get the property free and clear of any expense, "There would be no reason for me to sign it. I do not know anything about the sale I don't know who the buyer is and don't care to know, all I cared to do today was close as we had agreed to do." says London.
WZZM 13 viewed the original buy/sell agreement; it was signed on February 21st and does not mention a confidentiality affidavit. “What is required is that they follow what is in the buy/sell agreement and meet the terms of that and they failed to do that.” says London.
Despite the setback, Mayor Heartwell says the developer plans to continue negotiating for the property because they want to build in Grand Rapids, "It's also my understanding that the developer still fully intends to purchase this property." But London says he's not interested and plans to continue construction on his nude dancing establishment, “If they pull up with a truck load of cash and want to close on the spot I'd do it. But I otherwise I'm not entering in any more agreements with these people I'm not negotiating with these people I don't trust them quite frankly.”
WZZM 13 confirmed that the name of the purchaser on the buy/sell agreement is David Mink of Grand Rapids Development Incorporated.
We will continue to follow this developing story, and bring you significant developments as they happen.