Brantley Clark Relationship

Bardo Brantley has seen some good times and bad times in the last couple of years but as of late he seen mostly bad. I am not sure if it was his choice of projects or his lack of attention to those projects or the advice that he received from his business partners and associates. I wish I knew, because then I could be providing some words of advice for anyone and everyone, including Mr. Brantley, as to how to run a business.

My first introduction to Mr. Brantley goes back several years to my work with the Lambuth Area Neighborhood Association and the city’s ownership of Westwood Gardens. The city was asking for plans to both purchase the property and for redevelopment. If I remember correctly Mr. Brantley summations were unacceptable to the group. LANA decided in an open meeting that high density development would do nothing but provide for a future slum area.

My second introduction to Mr. Brantley was as a city councilman where he had petitioned the city to change a project from condo ownership to property rental. This was not a small matter since the city owned the property that Mr. Brantley built the residences on.

This was called the Cloverdale Redevelopment Project which the city had approved in April of 2005. The Cloverdale Redevelopment Project is basically a program developed to provide free land ($1.00 or $10.00, the remainder at taxpayers expense) to developers in order to produce home sites for the East Jackson Area. The land was obtained after the tornado that destroyed most of downtown and east Jackson in 2003. Mr. Brantley, on behalf of Vista International Developments & Brantley Developments LLC, had presented to the city council Windgate Village – 15 new townhouse style homes, and 4 single level homes in a park like setting with combination brick and vinyl siding. The homes would consist of 2 bedrooms and 1 to 1 & 1/2 baths with approximately 900 square feet. The village, as presented, would have a common area for picnics. The homes would be marketed for home ownership. It was a nice plan.

Construction was to begin within 90 days of the bid award and to be completed by March 10th, 2006 (even though the council may have approved a January 1st, 2006 deadline). Completion was to mean that the builder was required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the City of Jackson by that date. Failure to comply constitutes a default which gives the seller, the city, the right to terminate the contract and reclaim the property.

In order to produce a property of this sort firewalls were supposed to be installed between each adjoining building for the safety of the owners. For some unexplainable reason the firewalls were not installed and in September of 2007 Mr. Brantley requested the change noting that he could have all the properties occupied in 90 days. Mr. Brantley received a “Certificate of Occupancy” on August 22, 2008, 11 months later.

Now comes the third intrusion to sanctity of the city.

In August 2009, Summit-Brantley Building Innovations LLC (SBBI), had it’s officially ribbon cutting in Lexington, Tennessee with the present sitting Governor attending the proceedings. The facility was to staff 100 employees. Since that time, things have not gone so well. By December, employee checks were bouncing, in January 2010, litigations and liens were filed with the courts, and later that month Summit Brantley filed for bankruptcy.

Then last week I received a couple of calls from a property owners in Councilman Brooks’ district complaining about factory equipment moving onto the property that was once occupied by the Salvation Army and owned by JACNE LP which occupies 21 Windwood Dr. which intern is owned by Charles (Chuck) Clark.

For over twenty five years I spent as an Industrial Engineer, I must have designed and installed about every type of conveyor system known at that time in the South. The conveyor equipment by its design and build had Brantley written all over it. So I headed over to City Hall to discuss a possible problem. That very day, Mr. Brantley headed over to City Hall to discuss a zoning issue with that very same piece of property. On Monday, I was forewarned by Council Member Brooks that something was in the works. So it appears that the Lexington facility is heading to Jackson and it is about to set up shop in a residential area.

Brantley’s hopes will fall on the Zoning Appeals Board because the likely hood of it making it through the gauntlet of the Planning Commission and the City Council appear slim.

We will have to wait and see what Mr. Brantley’s and Mr. Clark’s next move will be.

%d bloggers like this: