Legal Battle Over Turtle Creek Ends in Settlement

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Mar. 12, 2012 12:00 am  

A window into the operations of a Jonesboro mall closed last week when developer Bruce Burrow settled the lawsuit he’d filed against his business partner.

Burrow, who’d sued David Hocker of Owensboro, Ky., over the management of The Mall at Turtle Creek, said “everything is fine” now, comparing the battle to a family squabble.

“We’re like any family member: Once in a while people look at things a little different,” Burrow told Arkansas Business last week. “We’re back to where we were.”

Burrow, Hocker and Marty Belz of Memphis co-owned the mall through their membership in Turtle Creek Partners LLC. Belz wasn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Hocker had countersued Burrow and was attempting to have him removed as a partner, just before the lawsuit was settled Tuesday.

Scott D. Hornaday, president of David Hocker & Associates Inc., first declined to comment on the case. After the case was settled, Hornaday issued a statement on behalf of the partners.

The Turtle Creek Partners LLC “looks forward to continued outstanding tenant performance at The Mall at Turtle Creek and also to attracting and announcing new and exciting merchants to the region’s premier shopping destination in the near future,” the statement said.

Under the terms of the settlement, David Hocker & Associates will continue to manage and serve as the leasing agent for the mall while Belz, Burrow and Hocker will continue their roles as co-managers of the LLC.

“I’m happy,” Burrow told Arkansas Business. “And I was the one who brought the suit, so I think everybody is happy now.”

But Burrow wasn’t so happy on Oct. 3, when he filed the lawsuit in Craighead County Circuit Court. In the lawsuit, Burrow accused Hocker and his company of misleading him about the financial condition of the mall.

Burrow told Arkansas Business last week that the dispute involved “misunderstandings … and we’ve worked through those now.” Burrow declined to say exactly what the misunderstandings were.

Still, the lawsuit Burrow filed on behalf of Turtle Creek Partners offered a rare peek inside the development of the mall and the business relationship between Burrow and Hocker.




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