The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published September 20, 2017

Ballparks property sold on courthouse steps

CAMDEN COUNTY – The ambitious project to build Ballparks of the Ozarks has struck out when the two parcels of property were sold by the trustee on the courthouse steps last week.

The trustee, Wendi Alper-Pressman, of Lanthrop Gage, read the property description before asking for bids.

The property sits on 239-acres and is located off Highway 54 west of Camdenton near state Route J.

The legal notices by the trustee ran for one week in The Reporter newspaper on January 4 of this year before being canceled.

The notices (one for each piece of property) were placed once again in this newspaper on August 23 and ended their four-week run on Wednesday September 13.

The sale took place the next day on the courthouse steps.

The reason for the sale is simply spelled out in the beginning of the legal notices.

“For default in payment of debt secured by the Deed of Trust ("Deed of Trust") executed by Ballparks at the Ozarks, LLC, a Missouri limited liability company ("Grantor"), dated February 4, 2015, and recorded February 5, 2015, at Book 307, Page 885, in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Camden County, Missouri, and said Deed of Trust last assigned to Juno Limited Partnership, the undersigned Successor Trustee, at the request of the holder of the debt, will on Thursday, September 14, 2017, commencing at 1:00 PM at the East Front Door of the Camden County Courthouse, 1 Court Circle, Camdenton, Missouri, sell at public vendue to the highest bidder for cash the real property described in said Deed of Trust, to-wit…”

The larger tract of land had one bidder (the holder of the note) and sold for $500,000. The smaller adjacent tract went for $80,000 to the same bidder.

Once the final paperwork of the sale is finished anyone caught on the property without permission of the purchaser of the property can be cited for trespassing.

It’s also possible that the Ballparks group can go to the current owner and buy the property and continue the project – but it’s also possible for anyone to buy it for any reason.

The project was promoted as a very large complex dedicated to baseball and other sporting activities.

They were planning to feature age appropriate fields including turf infields, pitching bullpens, batting cages, LED lighting and seating.

“The core principle of Ballparks of the Ozarks remains baseball. With age-appropriate fields of pristine natural grass and state-of-the-art synthetic turf, not only will teams play on the best surfaces but they will be guaranteed to play a full tournament regardless of the weather. We will offer the ‘ultimate experience’ for the ballplayer,” their website stated.

In addition to baseball, other activities were promoted on their website for the future once the facility is completed.

“Ballparks of the Ozarks will offer weekend baseball tournaments March through October and week long tournaments Memorial Day through October. In addition, camps and player and coaching clinics will round out the schedule. And soon Ballparks of the Ozarks will provide facilities for lacrosse, football, field hockey, and soccer, making Ballparks of the Ozarks your year-round destination for sports activities.”

The groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in conjunction with the Camden County Commissioner’s office, the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau, all three local Chambers of Commerce and numerous local community officials and had planned to have tournaments in 2017.

Their website released a statement on January 13 of this year that said (in so many words) 2017 play will not happen.

“Over the past several months, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response that Ballparks of the Ozarks has received from hundreds of coaches and organizations wishing to play in our tournaments in 2017…We made a commitment from the day we announced this project that we would not take one dollar of registration fee from any team until we could guarantee without a question when the park would be ready…Nor do we want baseball being played in a construction zone while work is still being completed…We are working with our team to provide an up to date construction schedule – and that will determine our start date.”

The website and Facebook page continues to promote the facility even gaining “partners” to be the official sponsors of the project.

Though last week’s sale of the property appears to be the final nail in the coffin, the ballpark project could still be a reality if Ballparks at the Ozarks, LLC, can get the current owner of the property to sell it to them.

Until that happens, the ballparks facility has been permanently benched.

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