‘Rapids’ property up for auction this week

A foreclosure auction Tuesday on the steps of the Rankin County Courthouse will decide the future of the 25 acres that once made up the Rapids on the Reservoir water park and later set off a controversy when a developer wanted to build several hundred apartments on the land.

The winning bidder will be gaining a 60-year renewable lease on the property situated across a street from the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has designated the tract for residential development.

BankPlus foreclosed on a loan to Bryan Co. after the developer stalled on getting its Mandalay residential project built on the site.  BankPlus will be among bidders on the lease Tuesday, said Tom Hudson, BankPlus general counsel.

“If the bank is the winning bidder, we’ll have to decide what to do with” the reservoir property, he said, and noted in all likelihood BankPlus would seek to sell the tract’s lease to a developer.

Tuesday’s winning bidder must satisfy the BankPlus liens on the failed Mandalay project, according to Hudson. Original debt issued by BankPlus on the project in Feb. 2008 totaled $1.75 million, he said.

The sale is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attorney Jamie Martin will conduct the sale. Interested bidders should call to register at (601) 898-8400. A specific sale time may also be available, Hudson noted.

The new owner must adhere to a residential designation granted the property by the governing board of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. Any changes to the development order would need board approval, said general manager John Sigman.

Bryan Co. drew protests from Reservoir area residents last November when the developer sought to switch the Mandalay project from condominiums to apartments. The master plan for the condos called for nearly 400 units, a clubhouse and a commercial component.

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