JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – One downtown Jackson property could soon be put back on the tax rolls.
Jackson is seeking bids to sell a city-owned property at 400 E. Silas Brown St.
The minimum asking price is $25,000. Interested parties must submit bids by Tuesday, October 4, according to city bid documents.
“We know it’s a beautiful building and we want to provide the opportunity for folks to purchase it and rehab it, and bring it back to life,” said Chloe Dotson, interim director of Planning and Development. “Just the amount of interest that folks have expressed, we wanted to move forward with seeing if we can get any offers.”
The building has been vacant for about 15 years. Today, its glass windows have been broken out and boarded up. Inside, there are signs that the facility has been used by the homeless.
Dotson said offers will be evaluated by the city’s Surplus Property Committee, who also will take into account what proposals bidders have for the facility. “Their responsibility is to ensure that the building, that something is done with it and it doesn’t seem to sit vacant and not in compliance with code,” she said.
She said there has been a variety of different uses proposed for the site, including turning it into a community or education center or using the facility to open a business.
While Jackson is working to get one property back on the tax rolls, it’s also moving forward with tearing down three other dilapidated structures.
On September 13, the city council awarded a $60,000 contract to Socrates Garrett Enterprises to demolish a dilapidated structure at 807 E. Northside Dr. And at its meeting next week, the council is expected to vote on a $49,000 contract to tear down two abandoned buildings in the 200 block of Pascagoula Street.
The Northside structure used to be home to the Charles Tisdale Library. However, the branch closed in 2017 due to flooding and black mold issues. The Jackson/Hinds Library System turned the building back over to the city in 2019. The Pascagoula structures are located near the Jackson Convention Center’s parking lot and have been an eyesore for years.
The original bid submitted by Garrett Enterprises in August was $48,500. It was not known why the amount went up.
Dotson said crews could begin demolishing all three structures in the next 45 to 60 days, pending clearance from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The agency has to review plans to ensure that no environmental hazards, such as asbestos, would be released during the demolition work.
She doesn’t foresee anything that would prevent MDEQ from signing off on the work.
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