In October, I checked out a complaint about an eyesore in downtown Jackson. A Pearl resident complained that the old LeFleur Cadillac dealership building on 318 South State Street is riddled with broken glass and trash. It's also frequently occupied by the homeless.
3 On Your Side caught up with the owner to see what she plans to do about the eyesore in Monday's Taking Back Our Neighborhoods report.
There was big fanfare in 2006, with the announcement of a 400-million dollar project called Old Capital Green. Tanya Scott was one of the investors who purchased this building back then. It is the old LeFleur Cadillac dealership headquarters. It would be torn down and in it's place, a 400-thousand square foot development called CEVA Green, with commercial mixed use office and residential space and a medical pavilion. But she said tough economic times, coupled with the need to improve the surrounding infrastructure put her plans and the entire project on hold.
Scott said, "The challenge that we have is that as we are trying to get the development going, we have homeless that have taken up residence in the building and every time we glass it up or board it up, they break into the building and start living in it."
One homeless man we saw inside the building as we interviewed Scott, remained there motionless. Scott says many of the people who seek shelter here are mentally unstable. You can see the one time show room floor of the old dealership building, littered with newspapers, likely used as bedding and blankets.
Scott said, "But we're really working on, right now, trying to figure out what the best solution is going to be to keep it safe, to keep individuals from breaking in, because we've got so much glass, but at the same time, not expending a significant amount of resources for a piece of property that will probably come down, you know, with a short period of time to make way for the development."
Scott said she hopes to have some workable solution to the problem in the next few weeks, but she wants everyone to know that she and others involved with the Old Capital Green project are, indeed, committed to taking back this downtown Jackson neighborhood.
She said, "Well, you know, we are taking it back. We invested in this neighborhood in 2006 and we have been paying taxes, big taxes on the building since 2006, this poor little eyesore right here, because we believe in downtown Jackson and we believe in Jackson and we believe in the old capital green development and our development and so it's coming. We've got a huge courthouse over there now and so we're taking it back. It's just we need help from everybody to do that."
Scott has promised to keep me posted on her progress. Let us help you take back your neighborhood. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.
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