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home : news : news August 2, 2014

Heidel House - July

2/26/2014 11:42:00 AM
Boca Grande facing lawsuit, foreclosure
City is suing Boca
Ian Stepleton

   Downtown developer Boca Grande Capital LLC is in a heap of trouble.

   The city of Ripon is suing Boca’s development arm, Ripon Renew, for unspecified damages, as well as its principal, Jim Connelly of Milwaukee. The case was filed last week Thursday.

   The complaint filed specifies the city seeks an amount “the court may deem just and equitable under the circumstances.”

   A day later, Badgerland Financial of Prairie du Sac, Wis., began foreclosure proceedings on Boca’s headquarters at 303-305 Watson St. 

   Both cases will be heard in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.

   A message sent Tuesday to Connelly to respond to the cases was not returned as of press time.

   The legal cases come 4 1/2 years after Connelly signed a developer’s agreement stating Ripon Renew would embark on 10 redevelopment projects; he also signed a personal guarantee spelling out financial consequences to himself if the work did not occur.

   Ultimately, only two of the 10 projects were completed.

   The parallel timing of each filing was not by design.

   “Pure coincidence,” Mayor Gary Will said. “We [handed] this over to our attorney well over a month ago ... It’s just a coincidence that last week was the day in their timeline [to file the lawsuit].”

   The mayor explained he has mixed emotions about the legal steps being taken.

   “It’s a sad day because the bill of goods sold to the city did not happen, and it’s a sad day for the community, coming to this,” he said. “On the other hand, I see this as the beginning of the future, to get through this. We can start healing and move on.”

Read the full story in the Feb. 27, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Article comment by: Myrddin Emrys

I used to work for the company several years ago. I am sorry for all the pain that their business practices caused.

To be fair to the mayor, the owners were personable, respectable, and seemed responsible I certainly liked them when I first started working for them. They were good salesmen, even if they were bad business owners.

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Article comment by: chris schueller

I take issue with the Mayor suggesting the city was sold a bill of goods. Perhaps if you are talking about the average Ripon citizen you could say that. The city council and mayor in office at the time enthusiastically and unanimously acted as a middle man in selling the bill of goods to the people of this city

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Article comment by: Chad Wagner

After being evicted (for remodeling purposes) with out notice, and with out knowledge the building I was renting was even for sale over 6 years ago, I am happy to see that this nightmare for the business owners and residents of Ripon may finally be coming to an end. Considering the store I had been renting has sat vacant since my day of eviction, I would say Boca's promises came up more than just a little short. Hopefully these vacant buildings will start to thrive once again and Ripon can be proud of what they have without the broken dreams and promises of an outside source!! Good Luck to the future

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