Natural gas leak, mold contamination leads to shutdown of Regency Hotel and Conference Center

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Regency Hotel and Conference Center is officially shut down as a result of noncompliance, including mold infestation.

Code enforcement officers put up several condemnation cards around the property just before noon Monday.

The city of Jackson’s interim director of planning said, according to the judge’s order, the property owner has 180 days to either demolish the building or spend an estimated 5 to 8 million dollars bringing it up to code.

Otherwise, they’ll be sentenced to 120 days in prison.

The hotel’s shutdown comes after a municipal court judge toured the property, finding mold in at least 12 guest rooms and a gas leak that presents an “extreme fire hazard.”

The building is the final piece in the puzzle for the state’s decade-long plan to clean up the fairgrounds.

Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said it’s a plan that won’t be affected by the Regency’s closure because the state had planned on demolishing it anyways.

“Of the three properties, the Regency was in the worst shape,” Gipson said. “It would have cost more to rehab any of them, but frankly, the Regency is past saving.”

While Gipson is confident the state will eventually acquire the property, nothing is official just yet.

“I think there’s been an offer and a counteroffer and appraisals have been obtained. I haven’t talked to anybody recently, but that process should be very close to wrapping up,” Gipson said. “As soon as the [Department of Finance and Administration] acquires it, we’ll be able to move on with the demolition aspect of it.”

The other two properties that are part of the state’s plans are the OYO hotel and Dennery’s Restaurant.

Dennery’s was torn down in July and will serve as a parking lot for large events at the state fairgrounds, including the upcoming state fair.

As far as the OYO is concerned, Gipson said the building is set to be demolished by December 8th.

Collectively, all three properties will open up about 1,200 additional parking spaces for the fairgrounds in the short term.

The state’s long-term plans are up in the air.

“We’ve been in conversations with other developers about these properties as to what the best use of them would be from a public standpoint,” Gipson said. “We haven’t made any decisions, but we’re going to look into that as we move ahead.”

The city of Jackson said code enforcement officers went to every single room Monday to make sure nobody was inside.

There was also a homeless coordinator on-site helping tenants find new housing arrangements.

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