Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 10 newspaper on Page A1.

JACKSON — A building in downtown Jackson was recently declared “unsafe” and is set for demolition.

The hearing was held in late June regarding the future of a structure at 165 Broadway St., with a two-person hearing board made up of Jackson Mayor Randy Heath and Council President Eric Brown.

The building in question was owned by Jackson Grandview Builders, Inc. Phil A. Bowman of Jackson purchased the land and building in November 2015.

The board heard from Bowman along with Jackson Service Director William “Bill” Sheward, Jr. and Liz Frisby. The hearing lasted just over two hours, with each person being questioned by either local Attorney Richard M. Lewis or Attorney Joseph D. Kirby.

Sheward, who is a part of the outgoing city administration, discussed the building and explained that he sent Bowman a citation dated May 2, 2019, which led to the recent hearing.

Frisby, who owns Elizabeth’s Flowers & Gifts in a neighboring structure, fears the building is eventually going to collapse. She talked about how much the neighboring building has deteriorated over the past 20 years.

“I don’t think the building is unsafe,” Bowman said.

The building’s roof has collapsed in the back and front, with just a bit of the center of the roof left intact. One of the back windows was broken and reportedly glass was falling out of it. There’s a large crack between the buildings. It appears that the back wall is starting to lean away from the building.

These are just a few of the concerns.

At the end of the hearing, Heath stated that everything from the hearing would be reviewed and a decision would be made so that it was fair to both parties involved regarding the structure.

On Tuesday, July 2, the hearing board released its decision, which called for Jackson Grandview Builders (JGB) to arrange for the demolition of the building by a contractor of its choosing.

One day later, JGB sold the building. A public record search through the Jackson County Auditor’s Office showed the structure was sold to Apple City Real Estate Holding, LLC on July 3 for $4,000. The business is registered to Brent Cooper, Jr. of Oak Hill.

Sheward subsequently told The Courier that demolition of the building should still proceed with the new owner since the decision letter stated that JGB could transfer the title of the real estate. Thus, the new owner is responsible.

The hearing board set a deadline for demolition of Friday, Sept. 13. If not completed by then, the owner must make arrangements for the sidewalk to be safe and passable for pedestrians of the Jackson Apple Festival.

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