Wednesday, September 16, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced that the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) voted to approve a settlement on the stalled hotel development on former state park land at Lake Texoma.
Fallin, chairman of the CLO, said commissioners during today’s monthly meeting voted to settle lawsuits over the development on Lake Texoma in Marshall County in southern Oklahoma. The settlement involves the CLO, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation and Pointe Vista Development, LLC, of Oklahoma City.
“This settlement provides a clean and realistic development plan for Lake Texoma and ensures local communities and the state of Oklahoma can benefit from this great natural resource,” said Fallin. “This is a victory for the Texoma community, which has been waiting for years for an agreement and a path forward."
Key provisions in the settlement include:
• CLO will buy back 50 prime acres in what is known as Area B – about 225 acres on the south side of U.S. 70 and includes the site of the old state park lodge - for the construction of a hotel and entertainment facilities. CLO plans to resell to a third party buyer.
• Pointe Vista will be released from development requirements in Area A -about 525 acres north of U.S. 70 and includes the Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course – and Area B.
• CLO will remove restrictions against the sale of land in Areas A and B.
• CLO will dismiss its lawsuit against Pointe Vista, and Pointe Vista will dismiss its counterclaim against CLO and any possible liability of the Tourism Department.
• The Tourism Department will assign its rights in Area C to the CLO. Area C is an additional 1,022 acres of parkland at Lake Texoma that the Tourism Department was under contract to sell to Pointe Vista. The Tourism Department will retain the site of the Texoma State Park for redevelopment as a state park. CLO will negotiate any acquisition of Area C land from the federal government.
• In exchange for an extension in the marina and concessions lease with the Tourism Department, Pointe Vista will pay an increased royalty from 5 percent to 8 percent on qualifying marina sales.
• Pointe Vista will continue to be a party to the concessionaire contracts on Area C.
“We are pleased this matter was resolved in a constructive manner through mediation rather than litigation,” said Scott Fischer, chief operating officer at Pointe Vista Development. “The settlement opens the door for development by multiple parties, which we believe will benefit the area in the long run. Additionally, the cooperative settlement will enable the parties involved to turn their attention to productive development and business pursuits in the area.
“Under the agreement, and supported by both parties, the Commissioners of Land Office will focus on opportunities to develop the 50 acres of lakefront property they will purchase from us south of Highway 70 located in Area B,” Fischer said. “With the legal matters behind us, we will assess the market and business opportunities to determine the proper next steps in regards to potential additional investments in the Texoma real estate, marina, golf course and other developments moving forward.”
Pointe Vista signed a deal with the CLO nearly 10 years ago to purchase the former Lake Texoma State Park land and build a massive new development on the lake that would include a four-star hotel. Construction has yet to begin. In January 2014, the CLO sued Pointe Vista to force the developer to begin work on the project, or allow the state to buy back the park land.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the Pointe Vista principals in developing a new approach that will accelerate the economic development of an important area of Oklahoma,” said Harry Birdwell, secretary of the CLO. “There is much work yet to be done, but we are committed to help bring facilities to attract visitors to the area and help redevelop an area state park.”