Monday, January 21, 2008

Everyone Likes Gambling?

Monday night, The Regency Companies officially releases its plan for a possible $100 million dollar casino-plus project in Newton, across the street from the Iowa Speedway. One thing I've noticed so organized opposition.

Remember the Sink the Boat people? They received a lot of credit three years ago for helping to defeat that casino idea in Dallas County. They don't seem to be jumping into this fight in Newton. In fact, I can't find anyone who is. One person did tell me she heard from a staunch anti-gambling advocate who said there's no point in working on this, since the state will never grant it a license anyway (because it's so close to Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona).


My hometown St. Louis Cardinals have disappointed with their off-season activity. But at least they made a good move today. They've signed stud catcher, Yadier Molina, to a four-year, $15.5 million dollar contract.

And speaking of BAD moves...remember that FOX station in St. Louis that reported Albert Pujols would be named in the Mitchell Report? Oops! Pujols says the station will pay.

Bill Knapp who has made a kazillion dollars by, in part, always knowing where to buy land before the next big thing happens is selling off his company to his nephew and the company's president. Here's part of the release...

Knapp Properties Transitioned to Neugent and Bill Knapp II

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (January 21, 2008) — Knapp Properties Inc., the real estate management, brokerage and development company founded by real estate entrepreneur William C. Knapp, is being sold to its two top executives. William Knapp II and Gerard Neugent are acquiring 100 percent of KPI as well as a 20-percent stake in William C. Knapp LC (WCKLC), the primary holding company for Knapp family holdings and investments. In concert these Knapp entities own, operate and manage a large and diverse portfolio of real estate holdings.

WCKLC has direct ownership of office, retail and industrial buildings along with developed lots, farms and undeveloped land throughout Central Iowa and the state. The holding company has at least 20 investor partners involved in variety of projects in the metro area. Among the partners are several institutions including FBL Financial Group, NCMIC, Central Iowa Health and Wellmark Inc. as well as successful Iowa entrepreneurs James S. Cownie, Dennis Elwell, Gerald Kirke and William Krause.

The sale marks the culmination of several years of thoughtful succession planning by the Knapp family. Bill Knapp II is the nephew of William C. Knapp and has served as chairman of the company since 1999. Neugent has been president of the company since 1993.

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