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Late payment nearly costs corporation redevelopment project in Sunset Hills

The South Lindbergh Redevelopment Corp.'s plan to tear down a mobile-home park and turn it into an office and retail complex hit an unexpected snag at last week's Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen meeting.

Al and Nancy Borzillo, co-managers of the corporation, forgot to send the $20,000 check for a commitment fee and nearly lost the deal.

The Board of Aldermen had approved the corporation's plans last month. The commitment fee was due at the end of last month, but the Board of Aldermen voted to give the Borzillos until Jan. 23 to pay.

The Borzillos didn't attend the Sunset Hills meeting, but were notified of the board's decision. The city received the money the next day.

"What can I tell you, it was a misunderstanding,'' Nancy Borzillo said. "I knew it was due. We had the check ready and made out. It was an error on my part.''

The Borzillos received the payment extension, but Ward 1 Alderman Joseph Rathert voted against it. Rathert has opposed the redevelopment of the 2.9-acre site at 3802 S. Lindbergh Blvd. from the beginning.

He has been concerned about what will happen to the residents of the mobile-home park.

"These people are probably wondering are we out or are we not out? I don't know why we need to give (the Borzillos) an extension,'' Rathert said at the Jan. 13 Board of Aldermen meeting.

But Alderman Ward 4 Donald Parker gave the Borzillos the benefit of the doubt.

"We've burned up a lot of energy on this so far, and we've extended others' deadlines," he said. "These folks have spent some money. You'd think they'd advise us if they weren't interested.''

The project, expected to cost $3.1 million, will include a main building with 13,000 square feet of retail business space and 2,500 square feet of office space, and one-story office buildings. It would add to the Borzillos' existing complex south of the blighted area that includes Pella Windows and Coldwell Banker.

If Rathert had his way, it wouldn't happen.

"They did not follow through with what they said they were going to do,'' he said. "They made promises.

"Twenty-grand is nothing for a multi-million-dollar project, and they can't come through on that.''

Nancy Borzillo said the late payment would not affect the corporation's plans.

She said negotiations with the current owners are reaching the final stages.

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