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VOL. 129 | NO. 153 | Thursday, August 07, 2014

Lawsuit Over Sale of Nineteenth Century Club Dropped

By Amos Maki

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The Union Avenue building that once housed the Nineteenth Century Club could soon meet the wrecking ball.

The suit over the sale of the Nineteenth Century Club property has been dropped, paving the way for the deteriorating mansion on Union Avenue to be razed.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

Plaintiffs seeking to stop the planned demolition of the once-stately mansion have dropped their appeal of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the sale of the property, removing a major obstacle to the property's proposed redevelopment.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs said multiple attempts to find a buyer who would preserve the building failed, leaving them no choice but to drop the appeal.

“While we continue to believe we have a strong legal case that the 2013 sale of the building was invalid, we no longer have a buyer for the property, so a victory on appeal could prove to be a hollow victory,” said attorneys Steve Mulroy and Webb Brewer in a statement. “It is our continuing hope that the building be saved.”

The plaintiffs were appealing a Chancery Court decision declaring the sale valid and permitting the demolition of the mansion to make way for a retail shopping center.

The regal but decaying property on Union was built in 1907 by Rowland Jones, a Memphis lumber king.

In 1926, the 15,813-square-foot house was acquired by the Nineteenth Century Club, a philanthropic women’s organization.

The Union Group LLC acquired the property for $550,000 in 2013 after winning a competitive bidding process, beating out a group that offered $350,000 and wanted to turn the property into a women’s business center. Proceeds from the sale went to the Children's Museum of Memphis.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 91 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

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