One of two lawsuits involving Metrocenter owner could wrap up in September

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Once the largest indoor shopping mall in the southeast, the Metrocenter will remain closed for the time being.

The legal battle between interior mall owner Emily Seiferth-Sanders and investor Christopher Jones could wrap up as quickly as a month or as long as a year.

At the heart of the suit is money that Jones said he hasn’t yet received for making repairs to the mall.

“When we were investing the money, it was free will,” Jones said. “We had a desire to advance the mall. We had a desire to build a community around the mall.”

Those desires will continue to be put on hold for now.

Emily Seiferth-Sanders - the owner of the mall’s interior – has told WLBT in the past that she never authorized the work that was done, and she never got receipts that documented the $156,000 that Jones said he spent.

But Jones, along with a contractor, Roger Thomas, who was brought on to make repairs to the parking lot, said her claims are a ‘bold-faced lie.’

“When I first arrived on the scene, Ms. Sanders got on a truck with me and Mr. Jones, and she said, verbatim, that Mr. Jones is in control, and she authorized everything,” Thomas said.

Jones was hoping Tuesday’s status conference would end with a default hearing because Sanders has yet to fulfill an order from the judge requesting that she hire a lawyer for the corporations named in the lawsuit.

Instead, he said the judge pushed the hearing to August 2023.

“It was not the result I had hoped for, but I’m okay with that,” Jones said. “We are talking about major assets at stake here, so it’s not something you would take lightly. We still have an opportunity to get the end that we desire.”

Jones said he’s working to get the case resolved sooner.

In 30 days, he said he can petition the court for a new hearing, and he’s hopeful to have a ruling by the end of September.

As for the end game, he wants to acquire what Sanders currently owns.

“The Metrocenter should be something bigger than a retail shop. We have outstanding plans for that, which is why we are aggressive in getting an end and a remedy to this lawsuit,” Jones said.

Our previous reports revealed the state put a lien on Sanders’ portion of the mall, meaning she can’t do what she wishes with it until she pays the $100,000-plus she owes in property taxes. She has until 2024 to do that.

We reached out to Sanders for this story, but she declined our request for comment.

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