Development Woes Boil Over for MBC Holdings' Bruce Burrow

by George Waldon  on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 12:00 am  

Commercial development travails recently prompted Bruce Burrow to file for Chapter 11 reorganization of debts listed at between $50 million and $100 million.

It's unclear what effect, if any, his money troubles will have on MBC Holdings Worldwide LLC of Jonesboro, which does business as MBC Holdings.

His company is ranked as the sixth-largest commercial property management firm in Arkansas, with a portfolio of more than 1.5 million SF. (Click here for the complete list. A spreadsheet version is also available.)

Among the lenders unable to come to terms with Burrow is Focus Bank of Charleston, Mo., which operates three full-service branches in Jonesboro and two in Paragould.

The bank obtained a nearly $3 million foreclosure decree against the Burrow Family Trust and Bruce and Sharon Burrow.

That foreclosure judgment was certified by the Craighead County Circuit Clerk on July 12, and Burrow filed for bankruptcy protection on July 30.

The debt, stemming from a 2008 loan, is secured by 29.2 acres of undeveloped commercial land at the southwest corner of Paula Drive and West Parker Road, which parallels U.S. 63 in Jonesboro.

Burrow lists the value of the property at $3.8 million and the Focus Bank claim at $2.7 million in his bankruptcy petition.

Burrow has portrayed the Chapter 11 filing as a defensive response to pressure from some of his creditors. Unable to negotiate a restructuring of debt with all of his lenders, he made the bankruptcy move to buy more time in hopes of reworking his financial affairs.

The bankruptcy petition lists 14 lenders among his creditors.

In an Aug. 7 email sent to compatriots, Burrow noted:

"I have been making good progress to unwind these problems, but my Chapter 11 decision was made for me when I couldn't get a couple banks to give me a forbearance (without a huge fee) to buy enough time to close on sales of properties under contract which, by the way, will close by year end. This will make a huge difference in reducing the debt."

WHB LLC (now known as Burrow Halsey Holdings LLC) and Jerry Halsey Jr. and his wife, Cheri, originally were listed as defendants in the foreclosure action by Focus. Halsey said he had had no stake in the property since he and Burrow parted ways as partners in 2009 and that his liability on the Focus debt was squared away. "We have already taken care of that," said Halsey.

 

 

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