I was thrilled to see the email in my inbox from David Puchi, managing partner, Capital Development for Baceline Investments, LLC.
With a title like that, I was confident I had stomped on a raw nerve to warrant such a message. “Give me a call,” he wrote.
So, I called him.
We began by introducing ourselves as he asked, “Are you the author of the thing about the Dixie Valley shopping center?”
The rest, hopefully, will be history.
Mr. Puchi said he had read everything I had written at The Valley Report on the subject, including reader comments.
What I’d written was, the last thing Southwest Louisville needs is a flea market, but that’s what were getting in the form of Vendors’ Village, which is taking over an old Kroger store.
I noted Baceline, a real estate investment firm, goes around the Midwest, snapping up abandoned or distressed commercial real estate for pennies on the dollar.
Mr. Puchi protested my assessment of his company and, for the record, denied being a vulture.
He said Baceline, the new owners of the Dixie Valley shopping center in Valley Station, were as dismayed as residents when they heard a Vendors’ Village flea market was set to open in a space previously occupied by a Kroger grocery store.
But after registering his complaint of being classified as a scavenging bird, Puchi and I found we mostly agreed on the issue of the flea market as being bad for business and the community.
“We had no control over that flea market going in there,” Puchi says, his tone becoming more forceful. “We are committed to bringing in high-quality tenants, and that does not mean a flea market … that doesn’t fit with our plans for the center.”
Puchi also displayed a sharp sense of dissatisfaction with the Courier Journal’s choice to publish a feature article in the “Neighborhoods” section that offered a photo of the flea market operators: The young, entrepreneurial ” Beavis and Butthead” duo standing in front of the vacant space they are now set to occupy “made me sick”, he said.
After agreeing that the flea market was both bad for Baceline and bad for the community, David Puchi, Managing Partner, Capitol Development for Baceline Investments, LLC told me his company was in involved in “intense negotiation” over the deal and then uttered the following statement:
“That flea market will not remain in the shopping center.”
That was satisfying to hear.
The articles I wrote on Baceline that appeared at Insider Louisville and the Valley Report spread like wildfire and prompted a few readers to take the time to write the company and complain. I commend them for their efforts. They deserve all the credit for forcing Baceline to address the concerns of the community.
The objective was not to simply beat Baceline like a piñata, but to urge residents to act.
They did, and now we have ourselves a piece of good news.