Liberty Center $211K short on bond payment, board wants to know why

The new management firm for $350 million mega mixed use development Liberty Center was $211,000 short on the June 1 bond payment, which has caused the Liberty Community Authority to call a special meeting.

LCA Chairman Phil Morrical said he learned about the shortage from the Butler County commissioners office, not JLL, the Chicago-based professional services and investment management company that took over last fall from Steiner + Associates.

“The bond fund required to pay the county’s Bond C series was short $211,000 on June 1,” Morrical said. “So we’re having a meeting to find out why that happened and why the whole board wasn’t notified what was going on. It’s something I want to get on early and resolve the issue.”

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Giorgio Karras, JLL vice president, said he is “not intimate with those finances” so he could not comment on the issue but said answers will be provided at the special meeting Friday.

Morrical said he does not believe this means the center is in trouble.

“Everybody is afraid that this is a blip on the radar and something’s going bad, the whole thing is going down the toilet and everybody starts panicking,” he said. “Which we don’t want to happen. It’s been very successful. It’s the first time this has ever been done in the county and I think there is a learning curve and that learning curve is going to progress.”

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