Saturday, May 27, 2023

Briarwood 1 Battle to End in a Bang

 The Battle over the Briarwood 1 building will end in a total demolition of the Briardwood Drive landmark.  


New Yorker Mike Kohan owns the property through his company, Briarwood Holding Realty, LLC.  The building suffered deteriorated into a serious state of neglect over the last several years after the last tenants moved out of the building. JJ reported on March 28: 

To say the building fell into a state of disrepair is an understatement.  Fallen limbs blocked the parking lot, numerous windows were busted out, the underground parking garage was flooded, mold was present, and the residency challenged took over the place as they destroyed the property.   

Jackson Code Enforcement officers cited Kohan for the violations.  Judge Reynolds held a trial in January but the defendant did not appear in court.  The Court found him guilty and sentenced Kohan to serve six months in jail if he did not demolish the building or bring it in compliance with the municipal code.   Kohan's lawyer, John Martin, filed an emergency motion to vacate the judgement and appealed the conviction to Hinds County Court, arguing his client was never properly served. However, Kohan did not pay the $1 million appeal bond set by Judge Reynolds.  Judge Reynolds denied the motion and ruled the appeal was invalid since the defendant did not pay the appeal bond.  The Court issued an arrest warrant for Kohan since he did not comply with the Court order regarding the building.  

Kohan appealed to Chancery Court even though the Court has no jurisdiction over criminal cases.  Chancellor Tamertrice Hodges issued a temporary restraining order against the city.  

Judge Reynolds ignored the Chancellor, holding she had no jurisdiction over the case, and held a status conference yesterday.  Attorneys Sterling Kidd (Baker Donelson) and John Martin represented the non-traveling Kohan. 

Kohan consented to the jurisdiction of the Jackson Municipal Court and agreed to dismiss the Chancery Court appeal with prejudice.  They also agreed to withdraw their "defective" County Court appeal. Kohan had filed a notice of appeal but did not submit a $1 million appearance bond. 

The defendant agreed to bring the building up to safety code.  Kohan will work with the city and obtain the necessary permit.  Judge Reynolds said he will reinstate the six-month jail sentence and extradition order he issued on March 24.  

A licensed contractor accompanied the attorneys in Court.  A Kohan gopher from Tulsa appeared as well. The attorneys apologized for the current state of the building.  The consent order is posted below. 

Judge Reynolds apparently got Kohan's attention last week.  Kohan argued he could not be held liable for the building's condition since his company owned the property.  However, Judge Reynolds made short work of his claim: 

The Defendant has also argued that, because the building is held by his LLC, not Defendant personally, he cannot be criminally charged or convicted for criminal violations of the City’s environmental codes. But Defendant, the LLC’s Manager, is also its sole member. As the sole, managing member, Defendant is the only individual with authority to ensure the LLC abides, or does not abide, the City of Jackson’s environmental codes. A single-member LLC’s sole member cannot use the LLC to shield that member from criminal prosecution for failure to abide by environmental codes, allowing dangerous conditions to endanger the safety of the citizens of Jackson.

Judge Reynolds ruled March 24 Kohan did not demolish the building as the Court required nor did he surrender his personage to JPD.  The Court asked the City Attorney to initiate extradition proceedings against the New York defendant.  The order must have gotten the defendant's attention because his attorneys were very agreeable in Court. 

Mr. Kohan got immediately got to work whipping the property back in shape.  He repaired the fence while security became a constant presence at the site, forcing the residency-challenged to evacuate the property.  Repairs were made that met the Court's satisfaction. 

Judge Reynolds held another hearing on May 11.  The Court suspended the jail sentence and said it would be dismissed if certain conditions were met.  

Kohan told the Court he intended to sell the building to Ready One Management, LLC.  Jackson resident Roger Thomas, Sr. owns the company.   The sale will close on June 6.  Briarwood will pay $75,000 to Ready One at closing to "assist" with the demolition.  Ready One will demolish the building and remove the debris withing 120 days after the closing date.  Thomas and his company agreed to submit to the Court's jurisdiction.  

Ready One was supposed to apply for a demolition permit by May 25. 


Anonymous said...


Pac go hard.

Anonymous said...

Please keep us posted regarding when the demolition will occur. Might be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

2:38, do your own homework, and let us know what you find out.

Anonymous said...

How long will it take Lumumba to claim credit for this move?

Anonymous said...

It’s a positive when anything in Jackson is demolished.


anonymous said...

Of all the blight in Jackson, why do they pick on this building up

Anonymous said...

Champaign and oyster breakfast on top floor for homeless to go down with their ship?

The photogenic 'prow' of this structure (circa 2010?) probly looked enticing to new Kohan investors in NY.

Anonymous said...

Can they demolish the gas station across 55 from there while they’re at it?

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to bet that the new owner will pocket the $75,000 and never get around to completing the demolition?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that 2:52 doesn't get invited to many parties.

Anonymous said...

How sad and weird the way this wonderful building wound up. Just like the city it's in, a very strange stupidity is afoot in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Press conference to follow...Well, maybe after the holiday. Chock be grillin'....Or, according to Stokes, Chock be smokin'.

Anonymous said...

One of the prettiest buildings in Jackson. It’s a shame to level this when there are so many slums in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

It will definitely be a location for another hotel or convenience store just watch. As if we need more in that area

Anonymous said...

A town with virtually no workable infrastructure is directing its primary concerns about a building which is a microcosm of Jackson. You have to be blind to not see that the city is trying to turn the attention away from the administration’s failures and direct the attention to some out of town property owner who obviously regrets ever hearing the town named Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't surprise me if this was still an issue a year from now.

Anonymous said...

If they put up orange plastic fencing for weeks, during demo, how will I find a short-cut over to Cowboy Baloney's to check out the TEEvees?

Where else them JATRAN bus riders gonna crash for the night?

Anonymous said...

4:24 if you want to see things being demolished, just look at the operation of the current administration. The culture of the current administration is a culture of destruction. They haven't built ANYTHING, and they don't intend to. They only exist to destroy.

Anonymous said...

I never heard it make a bang sound, lol, CLOWN, that's not the sound it makes

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the Theme to Starwars, played backwards.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they’ll knock down the abandoned convenience store across the highway when they’re there. The front door is wide open and it looks like the homeless have already moved in.

Anonymous said...

Im happy this is going down. I mean, its sad that such a once great bldg is now garbage but I long ago accepted that.

Would be curious how the selection committee is prioritizing the endless abandoned properties.

I am hoping they are following the same DEI type guidelines they demand for themselves and being fair regarding how they select them.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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