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'The deal is off' | Jefferson County's sale of Ford Park falls through

The buyer had plans to bring horse racing and a new hotel to the county.

BEAUMONT, Texas — The deal to sell of Ford Park to a group of developers who had plans to bring horse racing to the county has fallen through.

Officials with the county confirmed Thursday the deal, which also could have resulted in a new hotel, is officially dead.

"The deal is off," said Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick told 12News on Thursday.

"The court gave the potential purchaser every opportunity to get this done," Kathleen Kennedy the county's civil attorney told 12News.

Jefferson County commissioners, on February 22, 2022, gave Renaissance Development Group one last deadline in order for the sale to go through.

Commissioners told the developers at the time that in order for the sale to go through they would have to pay an additional $560,000 in earnest money by March 4, 2022 as well as close the sale by March 22, 2022 or the contract would be canceled.

The payment deadline was missed so the deal was canceled. The county will get to keep the initial $440,000 in earnest money that was on account.

"We gave them tons and tons of opportunities to get the payment together," Kennedy told 12News.

The Renaissance Development Group had previously agreed to pay more than $22 million to Jefferson County by Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, but also missed that deadline.

Renaissance Development was the sole bidder on the property in November 2020.

The county will get to keep any earnest money previously paid to the county by Renaissance. The county began discussing the sale of Ford Park in August 2020.

It is possible for the sale of Ford Park to go back out for a bid but that would be up to commissioners Kennedy said.

"Everybody wanted this deal to go through," she said.

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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