A number of people have called, emailed or dropped by to ask about the status of the announced data center for the Floyd County Commerce Park.
My story in today’s Floyd Press updates the situation: Data Knight 365 (DK365) missed the Tuesday deadline for coming up with $100,000 for a down payment for their $900,000 purchase of a 51.5 acres of undeveloped land at the Commerce Park on Christiansburg Pike where the company says it will eventually spend $67 million to build a 120,000 square foot data center.
The company also failed to provide the county with documentation on principals in the company, a letter of credit and a detailed explanation of the role Paul Allen plays in both the current and future operations of the company.
Allen, who was named last month in a loan kiting scheme that resulted in a federal case filed in Tennessee, moved out of one of the two apartments DK365 is renting at the Station on South Locust. In March, the Ohio Secretary of State shut down Allen’s company, B-Telecom. Bill Byler, the Amish businessman who now appears to be the front man on the deal, returned to Floyd this week and tells people "nothing has changed."
Things have changed. The Tuesday deadline for closing was the first milestone DK365 needed to meet in a performance agreement signed last month. Missing the deadline is grounds for canceling the deal if the county chooses to do so.
Economic Development Authority member Mike Maslaney says the "level of skepticism" over the deal has increased and that "questions need to be answered." Maslaney says he and others on the EDA still have hope the deal can be closed.
EDA chairman Jack Russell is occupied with the death of a family member and is not available for comment The EDA meets on September 22 and a decision on the future of the project may be made at that meeting.
Or it may not. Like so much of the hyperbole, mystery and intrigue that surrounds this deal, the questions far outnumber the answers.
(Updated September 23, 2009 to information about why EDA Chairman Jack Russell was unavailable for comment.)