Beaumont developer derailed by $952,000 debt
By B. Scott McLendon
The Examiner’s ongoing investigation has revealed nearly $1 million in additional debt owed by the potential buyer of the 555 Main St. building – the man whose proposal caused city councilors to cancel their plan for space.
An exclusive report published in July by the newspaper revealed that self-proclaimed ‘one in a million’ developer Selim Kiralp, 37, of Istanbul, Turkey, owes two Texas tax offices approximately $20,000 for his home and its second property. According to a pair of affidavits of lien signed by the Jefferson County Clerk and reviewed by the Examiner, Selim Kiralp Investments LLC owes $952,504.31 to Cooley Construction LLC, a Magnolia-based construction company he enlisted. to build its first Beaumont development, an apartment complex near Lamar University.
According to a notice of lien sent to Kiralp in March 2021, the developer’s debt relates to an “unpaid balance for goods, materials and services furnished…” regarding his unfinished West Cardinal Drive property – The Palms at Cardinal.
Calls to Kiralp businesses and cellphones went unanswered on August 16.
Before sitting down with Kiralp in July, The Examiner uncovered about $19,847 in back taxes he owes McLennan and Denton counties — something he initially claimed he knew nothing about.
The man has spoken openly about his plans for the old AT&T building. However, when asked about past projects he was supposed to have completed in Turkey, his candor turned to a series of conversational hijacks, offering, “I’d rather not say” and “Is Is it okay if I don’t answer this?
As revealed in July, Kiralp purchased land at 1030 West Cardinal Drive in 2019 for the purpose of building “The Palms at Cardinal,” a 100-unit apartment complex that would house Lamar students. Construction progress has stalled and a lawsuit still lingers over the head of the first subcontractor he hired to complete the job.
Video surveillance reviewed by The Examiner, provided by evercam.com, shows progress on the property from September 18, 2020 to December 15, 2020. Although the project is proceeding smoothly, multiple trips by The Examiner to the site over the last five months indicate that little or no progress has been made since the end of 2020.
According to information from Beaumont officials, a formal RFP will be ready for 555 Main Street by August 19, which will open the property up for auction.