Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Judge: Tear It Down

The Briarwood 1 Building may soon be no more after Jackson Municipal Court Judge Jeff Reynolds ordered its New York owners to demolish the dangerous eyesore. 

 


The once-attractive office building gazed upon the surrounding area for years as workers bustled throughout the day. The glass facade provided a rather lovely picture of nature's beauty as the sun traveled through the sky. Unfortunately, the tenants disappeared until the building sat empty and the lights went out on Briarwood Drive's shining beacon.

Out of sight meant out of mind as the New York own let the building deteriorate until it became a camp for vagrants who were only too happy to visit more destruction upon their shelter.  The underground parking lot filled with water while fallen trees blocked the parking lot.  Entergy filed a collection lawsuit against Briarwood Realty in Hinds County Circuit Court last year.  Circuit Judge Adrienne Wooten approved a default judgment against Mr. New York in October. 

The city of Jackson charged Mike Kohan .  The New York resident owns Briarwood Realty Holding, LLC, which in turns owns the Briarwood 1 building.  

Judge Reynolds held a trial in absentia January 10.  Mr. New York did not appear although the prosecutor said he was notified verbally and via email (at his direction.).  

The Court found the building suffered from severe sanitation problems, drainage problems. pervasive mold, water "everywhere", and electrical wiring exposed to water.  A multitude of residency-challenged individuals inhabited the building, committing more destruction of the property as broken windows and graffiti mushroomed throughout the premises. 

Judge Reynolds held the building was "dangerous" to the citizens of Jackson and ordered it demolished if it was not brought up to the code to the reasonable satisfaction of the Court.  The Court suspended a six-month jail sentence for Mr. New York pending demolition of the building. 

Appealing the order might be costly for the defendant.  Mr. New York  must post a secured appearance bond of $1 million as the Court called him a "demonstrated flight risk" since he lives in New York. Judge Reynolds stated high demolition costs justified the million-dollar bond. 

Hinds County property tax records state the taxes have not been paid for two years.  











 

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are few things in this world more lowly than a New York landlord.

Anonymous said...

I used to work in that building. How sad.

Anonymous said...

America's radical city, while Chowke is enjoying Miami and Rukia and Safiya are running Jackistan.

Anonymous said...

underground Parking lot? In all my years, I had no idea? This was a lovely building and housed many prominent business professionals.. It also kept Bennigan's and Chili's in business for many years. This is sad to see.. just another sign that the City is blighted.

Anonymous said...

I remember that area when it was such a nice place to be.

Anonymous said...

Happy the city is dealing with out-of-state property owners who do this.

Anonymous said...

If it's structurally sound, it would be a waste to demolish it. It could be renovated and put to good use. But Jackson officials don't understand the importance of infrastructure. They think civilization just magically happens.

Anonymous said...

How many years can you go without paying taxes consequence free in Jackson?

Anonymous said...

If the city wouldn't neglect it's law enforcement duties, the vagrants wouldn't have been allowed to cause all that damage. They're over running North East Jackson and ruining the last decent part of the city.

Anonymous said...

2:33

To be fair, you live in Mississippi I assume. The entire state has very poor infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

How about seizing it for lack of payment of taxes and put a police precinct there? Instead they want to purchase $1 M buildings (Batte Furniture).

It'd help the crime in the area and they could put other city offices in it.

Anonymous said...

NE Jackson goes Hwy 80. I55 Frontage and Ridgewood are both tanking fast.

Anonymous said...

@2:33 clearly no one wants to buy it. No one wants to renovate it. No one wants to deal with it. So.... kudos to the city for tearing it down. Good Grief. Damned if they do... damned if they don't.

@2:08 he's actually in a meeting about raising water rates for folks like you who have so much hatred in your heart for Jackson. After this meeting... you'll WISH he was in florida.

Anonymous said...

If you think that building is about to be demolished-think again!

The landlord will never set foot in MS and will never demolish the building. It will be sold to the dtate for back taxes and then sit as an ongoing hazard and eyesore for years to come.But the lanlord got full depreciation and came out on top tax and profit wise.

You think it looks bad in the picture-- just wait.

Anonymous said...

secured appearance bong of $ 1 million, my ass.

Anonymous said...

New York must've plugged in the numbers into the Jxn Water algorithm and bailed when he saw his prospective water bill.

Anonymous said...

This happened pretty quick too. It’s not like it’s been abandoned for years. Just over a year ago I know of a couple businesses still operating there. Elevators haven’t worked in many years but was occupied nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

When this was built in the 80’s it had something special about it architecturally. Maybe one of only a few in the country that were shaped like a 90 degree triangle. This was almost built just north of county line road but I believe this site was chosen since it was in Jackson city limits.

Anonymous said...

indoor swimming pool?

Anonymous said...

The property was sold in a tax sale a year ago. Last years is also due. Two years at 55K per year plus interest. No one in their right mind will buy that eyesore, gut it and then try to lease it out. That train left the station. The folks who bought the taxes might not even file for a tax deed and walk away. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose on tax auctions.

Anonymous said...


2:17, I remember when the "whole" city of Jackson was a nice place to be, visit and live in......

Anonymous said...

Talk about a depreciating asset. I bet they find all kinds of "stuff" in there when it's demolished.

Anonymous said...

"@2:08 he's actually in a meeting about raising water rates for folks like you who have so much hatred in your heart for Jackson. After this meeting... you'll WISH he was in florida."

Good, the system has to be sustainable and self-sufficient long term. If the rates are increased to be able to do achieve those, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

It is quite evident this is not a minority owned building. Ride down Farris street, (in a bullet proof tank) if you want to see dilapidated buildings needing to be razed.

Anonymous said...

Once of this things that needs to occur if you have any hope of turning Jackson around is the demolishment of these type buildings. If you removed all the derelict buildings in Jackson things would slowly start to look better. You could make the Jackson area look like 1935 if you cleaned up all the vacant buildings. After this occurred you might get some new growth. No one is building or renovating anything near these vacant buildings. But then again this is just dreaming. as long as baby chockwee is in there nothing will improve.

Anonymous said...

The owner just needs to do what everyone else in Jackson is doing. Donate it to a Chuucch and walk away. Chuucches be tax free.

Anonymous said...

@2:33 clearly no one wants to buy it. No one wants to renovate it. No one wants to deal with it. So.... kudos to the city for tearing it down.

Then get to tearing down the same downtown ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Jeff Reynolds is the only one who has the backbone and guts to do something about these problems. Good work Judge Reynolds.

Anonymous said...

That's "Mr. New Yorkberg" to you, K. F. Hickman.

Anonymous said...

Water bill will be really cheap based on tax assessed value of zero.

Anonymous said...

What took so long?

Anonymous said...

I interviewed for a position with American Express in that building in '99 or 2000, somewhere in that time. Neither did I know there was underground parking there. @4:34 is right, though,the building's profile would make a handsome and distinctive chuuch.

Anonymous said...

He owns Pemberton Mall in Vicksburg also.

Mogadishu are us said...

What about the other 500+ abandoned buildings in Jackistan? I'll wait.

Anonymous said...

Triangle buildings are cool, but very impractical. Corners are too sharp resulting in wasted space. I worked there briefly, I know. Also, there were homeless people encamped there in the early 2000's in the woods. You could not work past 5:30, or your stuff would be gone. Saw this coming a long time ago.

Owners will walk away and it will end up with the state. Can Reynolds make the state tear it down? Haha. No.

Anonymous said...

Kohan is well known in the area of dead malls for doing this. He will buy dead malls for cheap while promising to bring them back. He then soaks all the value out of the property until he is court-ordered to relinquish his ownership. He rarely pays taxes either on anything he buys. I'm surprised he didn't buy Metrocenter as well as an office building.

Anonymous said...

Has Briarwood Road even been fixed yet ?
(I doubt it).

I had to have serious suspension repairs after trying to drive just a few blocks
west of that once beautiful building.

Anonymous said...



"....He then soaks all the value out of the property until he is court-ordered to relinquish his ownership. He rarely pays taxes either on anything he buys..."
January 11, 2023 at 7:27 PM

Thanks for that explanation. It was obvious that someone was playing some sort of game. In what ways was he soaking the value out of the property? Collecting rent, then maybe insurance claims/deductible losses/government incentives?

Anonymous said...

Good start. Can we demolish the whole city next?

Anonymous said...

The City "charged" the owner, suggesting another criminal proceeding as are other cases like these. How does email and phone call give the court jurisdiction?????

Anonymous said...

It's a landmark! A point of reference. Tells me where to turn to go the back way to Cowboy Maloney and the Chinese grocery. How else I'm gonna buy wild rice and look at a display of 12 television sets?

Anonymous said...

I guess the owner didn't contribute to the ladumbo campaign.

BTW: nice site for a State job hive.

Anonymous said...

Where's Sherman and Grant when you really need them?...

Anonymous said...

Go Google Mike Kohan, aka Mehran Kohansieh. This guy has money. Wish there was a way to put him in jail.

Chris said...

I used to work at the Hampton Inn across the street. That area was really nice. Sorry to see it go down hill. The only thing I frequent in the area is Mr. Chens.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Landlord, tear down this wall." (Apologies to the Gipper).

Anonymous said...

I worked there and saw the underground parking daily as I used that entrance for my office.

Its sad. We used to walk over to Hops for beers after work. The whole building was occupied and nice.

That was in 2001 or so before the Democrats fully ruined the city.

It certainly fits in among the current Jackson aesthetic now.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I remember looking at office space in this building in the early 2000s when I was looking to expand my business. I ultimately got a better deal elsewhere in town, but I remember being impressed with the building, the location, and the space that I was shown, despite it's odd shape. Hard to believe it has fallen off to the point of abandonment and potential demolition, but that's how it goes in Jackson these days.

Anonymous said...

It blows my mind when big, beautiful buildings are allowed to fall into disrepair. I know why and how it happens, but it's just hard to stomach. Kind of like looking at all the older, big churches on Capitol Street. Such a shame and no real solutions. Just haunting reminders.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had thought to post this when the thread was new (I don't know how many visits it will get a day later).

I'd like to ask a question of the readership: What do you see as the reason with the most weight that has caused the decline of this building, and others like it (as well as most other unsatisfactory conditions), around the city? In other words, what is the single common reason for the decline of this once livable city?

People have different views, and I'd like to see what people see as the single biggest reason for Jackson's failure

Anonymous said...

2:05, crime

Anonymous said...

Like 3:00 said...Crime is the most simple and comprehensive answer and probably the root for all demise.

Here's a Shovel - Dig Deeper said...

3:00 and 4:00 - Turn your caps around, lightweights. Crime is not the problem and crime is not the root of the problem. Crime is only a symptom of the problem. Dig deeper.

If you stop to help a motorist on the roadway and he tells you he has a flat tire. Is the flat tire the root problem or is it a symptom of the problem. The root problem is the inattention of the driver when he failed to notice the tires were slick and bulging for the past nine months. The stranded motorist and flat tire are both symptoms (outcomes if you will) of the problem.

Saying crime is the problem in Jackson is stopping halfway in the effort to discover the root cause of Jackson's problems.

Anonymous said...

2:05 PM, There are several reasons why Jackson is in the shape it is. Crimes is a very big one. Who wants to live in a city with the highest murder rate in the U.S.? One other biggie is the people now vote for the person with a certain skin tone. That is not the best way to choose your leaders. You can see what happens to a city when the leaders have absolutely no idea what they need to do. Who would want to live in a city where the city streets look like goat trails?

While crime is one of the big problems crime would not be as bad as it is if the people would vote in leaders who actually cared about the city. The real reason Jackson is what it is today is because people in Jackson want it that way.

Anonymous said...

Agreed 7:00 but its a chicken/egg syndrome.

If crime was not currently worse than Tijuana, then more sane residents with an IQ over 50 would live in the city. Those intelligent people (in large numbers) could then vote for decent leaders. And with increased tax base and leaders not elected based on minority status alone, the infrastructure is repaired.

So to me, rampant crime is indeed the biggest reason Jackson failed.
Not the only of course, but yes...the largest contributing factor.

Gentrify or die. That is the only option for Jackson to ever turn around.

Anonymous said...

OH wow, This place used to be so nice. Perhaps that can be the new Jackson slogan. "Hey things used to be so Nice"

Anonymous said...

This use to be one of the coolest most beautiful buildings for a time in Jackson. What a wretched man to think he can let building sit unoccupied and become a site for homeless to squat. He must think Mississippians are ok with this. We are not.


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