PTL: The Looming Tower

From the Charlotte Business Journal, September 2008:

Plans to rebuild the long-vacant hotel tower that was the centerpiece of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s failed Heritage USA have moved beyond a hope and a prayer.

One of Charlotte’s largest general contractors is on the job, heading a $40 million redevelopment of the building for MorningStar Fellowship Church. The 21-story structure is getting new life as an age-restricted condo building that will cater to Christians.

The massive renovation, headed by Choate Construction Co., is expected to start in January. The tower could have its first residents by mid-2010, says Patrick Selvey, MorningStar construction manager.

From WBTV, December 2011:

FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) – It’s been standing in Fort Mill for 20 years falling apart since the downfall of the Jim Bakker.  Morning star ministries bought the old PTL tower eight years ago with the promise to fix it up into retirement community. 

Money and legal battles have clouded the future of what neighbors call an eye sore.

However those same residents around the tower say they may found a loop hole in the system, and filed a petition on a little known county ordinance hoping the law will finally get something done.

…The county ordnance was written in 2002.  Morning Star took over the building in 2004 with plans to repair it and sell the apartments.  So since the building is technically a dwelling it falls under the regulations of the ordinance.

The ordinance goes on to state if the owner can’t repair the property the county can take over and demolish it.

Morning Star’s leader Rick Joyner explained the reason for the continuing delays back in March 2010:

Joyner acknowledges construction hasn’t started. The credit crisis has trimmed the number of banks interested in financing the deal to four from the original 14, he says.

This raises a particular difficulty: Joyner has for a long time claimed to have received messages from God warning of the imminent economic collapse of the USA, with the populace reduced to bartering for survival. Joyner’s original plan back in 2004, when he bought 52 acres from developer Earl Coulston, was “to try to hire a movie production company to demolish” the building, but it seems that he quickly decided that it would be better instead to restore the tower. This was during the height of the property bubble, so why didn’t God warn Joyner about the financing problems he would face? And to what extent does Joyner’s current business plan take account of economic armageddon being around the corner?

Although the tower remains dilapidated, Joyner has restored part of Jim Bakker’s former property, creating the Heritage Grand Hotel. The hotel has been the venue for at least one event held by the Order of Saint John (or “The Knights of Malta: The Ecumenical Order”). This is the chivalric order of which Joyner is “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council” and Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin is the “Grand Chancellor”.

(H/T: Right Wing Watch)