A bank robber turned millionaire is ready to sell a city square for what his son calls an $8 million bargain.
Del Dunmire wanted to turn downtown Harrisonville, MO, into a thriving entertainment and retail district. He quickly bought up buildings and renovated them, but times have changed. He now wants to sell the buildings, which means almost the entire square is up for sale.
A website detailing the sale said, "Never before has such a unique investment opportunity been available. The chance to create a destination that could rival Disney, Branson, Vegas or even the natural parks is now available right in the center of our great nation. A savvy investor has the opportunity to build on maybe the most colorful times of our glorious history and transform that into a profitable 21st century, shopping/dining/entertainment district that is truly unique and only limited by the imagination of the visionary. Yes, the possibilities are limitless!!!"
On Harrisonville's square, everywhere a person looks there are "for sale" signs.
"Someone is going to get the community at a great bargain," Mark Dunmire said.
People may have heard of Del Dunmire - the man who robbed a bank in the 1950s to pay gambling debts.
"My father obtaining his freedom from that terrible mistake caused him to refine his intellect," Mark Dunmire said.
Once out of the big house, Del Dunmire went into big business, selling replacement parts to commercial airplanes. And with success came an eccentric lifestyle. He invited the whole town to his wedding and he bought notorious serial killer Bob Berdella's home and tore it down.
Then Del Dunmire's company, Growth Industries, bought up 52 Harrisonville properties.
"He would walk up and, at that time, Harrisonville was in great disrepair and largely abandoned. He started purchasing things one lot at a time, almost like it was a Monopoly board. That's how dad did things," Mark Dunmire said.
But Del Dunmire's vision has changed. His son said he is living in Dallas, TX, and is interested in business opportunities closer to his new home.
"The dramas between himself and the city is of public record, there is no hiding that. Dad holds no animosity for that," Mark Dunmire said. "He loves Harrisonville and the community, but some of the best laid paths in life change."
Del Dunmire's buildings that are up for sale are elaborately decorated - many based on places he has visited. Some are even filled with gyrocopters and a Rolls Royce that is collecting dust. There are also bars, lounges, restaurants and dining halls all up for sale.
Besides the regular buildings, there is also a former Walmart in town that is included in the sale. It is now filled with his antiques and various possessions. The family likes to call it Delmart or Del's Toy Box because it is filled with antiques.
If the Dunmire family does not find a national or regional developer to buy all of the properties, Mark Dunmire said they could sell it parcel by parcel or he will choose to redevelop it himself.
The website buyharrisonville.com was created to let people look at photos, descriptions and locations of the properties.
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