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City renews Colonial Mart mall lease for Ward Four headquarters

Precinct 4 will remain in the Colonial Mart Mall for the time being.

The Jackson City Council recently voted to renew the lease of the Colonial Mart mall space for five years at a cost of $4,289 per month. The lease includes an option to terminate at the end of each year at a cost of $1,000 per year for each year remaining on the lease.

Station 4 is the only police station the city does not have. The owner, Colonial Mart Retail, has agreed to take care of space issues so the space works better for officers, Jackson Police Chief James E. Davis said.

The lease was renewed until the city could work out the details to acquire and renovate the former Batte Furniture & Interiors location at 1010 E. Northside Drive for use as a library, a location for Enclosure 4 and possibly additional municipal offices.

The city is moving forward with an assessment and assessments of the Batte Furniture building, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said.

The city must not only acquire the building, but also redesign the interior space and construct it, Lumumba said. “We anticipate it should take over a year to do that,” he said.

Kenneth Stokes of Ward 3 supports the plan to purchase the building near Highland Village and the northern corridor of I-55 and use it as a library and police station.

“If we lose Highland Village and Kroger and those kinds of places to crime and stuff, it’s going to hurt this town a lot,” he said. “Having this enclosure at the Batte Furniture Company is going to save a lot of Jackson and it’s going to ensure that we continue to grow. We have to start protecting this highway because a lot of different people and bad guys are going through it.

Payne Realty lists the Batte Furniture and Interiors building, which sits on 1.3 acres, for sale for $1,995,000 or $47.98 per square foot.

The building was built in 1962 and housed Batte Furniture and Interiors until it closed in 2019 after 136 years in business. The property, which is just off I-55 North, is zoned C-3 Intense Commercial and includes 54 parking spaces.

The acquisition would also include the Joker’s Tavern building, located behind Batte Furniture, for additional parking, Lumumba said.

The three-story building that has square footage on each floor has enough space to house some city offices, Lumumba said.

The Batte Furniture building is near the abandoned Tisdale Library at 807 E. Northside Drive. It closed in April 2017 after heavy rain and neglect led to black mold and mildew contamination.