Negotiations to buy Regency Hotel ongoing, despite questions from state, 3OYS about who owns it
Demolition of two Greymont Street properties near State Fairgrounds begins next week
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More than a year after negotiations began for the State of Mississippi to purchase three properties near the State Fairgrounds, Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said one property has yet to be acquired because of questions about who actually owns it, which 3 On Your Side first explored weeks ago.
That property, the Regency Hotel and Conference Center, sits on six acres of land on Greymont Street, according to Hinds County land roll records.
In April, our reporting revealed one of the parties which owned the Regency Hotel, Grandana LLC, was not registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.
The other owner, Zhu Jain P, has not responded to repeated requests for comment.
Gipson said he spoke to employees at the state’s Department of Finance and Administration, who had been handling negotiations to purchase that property.
“They are still in negotiations with the owner. One of the issues was, there was some issue with the title of the property, the title, who actually owns the property has been a complication,” Gipson said. “But I did get word that the the investors who own the property have put in process their own appraisal.”
Attempts to get additional information from DFA have been unsuccessful.
Gipson said the other two properties, acquired by the state earlier this year, will be demolished starting next week: Dennery’s Restaurant and the OYO Hotel.
“It’s going to totally change the way you view the downtown area,” Gipson said. “And eventually the third property will come on board.”
Gipson said despite those delays, development talks continue for the eleven additional acres that will be folded into the state fairgrounds property.
He revealed Wednesday that his agency has already put into motion a 10-year master plan for the entire complex.
“That master plan does involve additional hotel developments. And we have had conversations with folks that have represented hotel developers about wanting to go in there. We’ve not made any decisions on any of that,” Gipson said. “But the key thing is to get it demolished to size it up, to make sure there’s nothing under the ground that we didn’t anticipate that we’ll have to clean up or do away with.”
There’s also a chance that they’ll petition the city of Jackson to close off part of Greymont Street, which would help for events.
Gipson said they’ve done that before, indicating Mississippi Street near the Farmer’s Market was once a city road.
Once the two properties are demolished, the agriculture commissioner wants to make those lots available for additional parking in time for this year’s state fair.
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