The city and Retro Metro, which owns part of the mall, attended a hearing in Hinds County Chancery Court on Wednesday, August 9.
Retro Metro filed a lawsuit after the Jackson City Council voted to move all city offices out of the mall due to hazardous conditions, which include mold, potholes and unreliable air conditioning.
Retro Metro argued they invested more than $3 million into the facility, and they blamed the city for recent issues.
“Brand new offices, all new lighting, all new facilities, brand new restrooms, all of that was installed. We had some issues as you may know with air conditioning and things of that nature. That was created by the low water pressure and created by the city’s inability to provide sustainable water to air conditioner units,” said Socrates Garrett, a Retro Metro owner.
In the lawsuit, Retro Metro accused the city of breaching the 20-year lease signed by former Mayor Harvey Johnson. In the lease, the rent would increase every five years.
An attorney representing the city declined to comment on the lawsuit, but an attorney for Retro Metro said the city has not paid the increased rent in two years.
“It’s a finite number that the rent should go up every five years, and that’s all we’re here on today. And that’s all we’re here on today. The judge has ordered mediation. We will absolutely comply with the judge’s decision, but this case today is about the rent increase,” said Malcolm Harrison, the attorney for Retro Metro.
WJTV 12 News reached out to the city for a statement, but we haven’t heard back. A trial has been set for Monday, October 2, 2023.