Precinct 4 will remain in Colonial Mart Shopping Center for the time being.
The Jackson City Council voted recently to renew the lease on the Colonial Mart Shopping Center 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.
Precinct 4 is the only police precinct location that the city does not own. The landlord, Colonial Mart Retail, agreed to take care of issues with the space so the space would function better for the officers, said Jackson Police Chief James E. Davis.
The lease was renewed until the city can work out details to acquire and renovate the former Batte Furniture & Interiors location at 1010 E. Northside Drive for use as a library, a location for Precinct 4 and possibly additional city offices.
The city is moving ahead with an appraisal and evaluations of the Batte Furniture building, said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
The city not only has to acquire the building, but also redesign the interior space and build it out, Lumumba said. “We anticipate that should take better than a year to do so,” he said.
Kenneth Stokes of Ward 3 backs the plan to buy the building located near Highland Village and the I-55 North corridor and use it as a library and police precinct.
“If we lose Highland Village and Kroger and those kinds of places because of crime and other things it’s going to hurt this city tremendously,” he said. “To have that precinct at the Batte Furniture Company is going to save a whole lot of Jackson and it’s going to make sure we continue to grow. We must start protecting that interstate because a whole lot of different people and some bad guys are coming through.”
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 constructed in 1962 and housed Batte Furniture and Interiors until it closed in 2019 after 136 years of business. The property, which is just off I-55 North, is zoned C-3 Intense Commercial and includes 54 parking spots.
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 feet 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 contamination with black mold and mildew.