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Residents want shuttered Jack in the Box gone

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago May 02, 2017 May 2, 2017 Tuesday, May 02 2017 May 02, 2017 5:37 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A closed Jack in the Box at the corner of Coursey Blvd. and Stumberg Lane have some people upset over the big mess that's been sitting vacant for years.

The grass is overgrown, the building's boarded up and the doors are locked. That building has that familiar Jack in the Box red color and shape with signs that no longer hold the logo.

The corner of the city-parish, once a thriving spot with a drive-thru for burgers and fries is now an area for people to dump trash and park their trucks.

"I've been passing this for over ten years, I think," said Mike Benson. "It just looks bad."

Residents who live in neighborhoods off Coursey Blvd. say the building is blight that's brought a negative affect to their surroundings. They're tired of looking at it and they want change.

"I've gone to the headquarters, I've called them, talked to them, whatever, nothing's been done," said Country Manor HOA president Mary Stewart.

Asst. Chief Administrative Officer Rowdy Gaudet tells 2 On Your Side the City-Parish has been working with Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso on the shuttered property. On April 26, the City-Parish sent a letter to the property owner, Mr. Sakaya Okamura notifying him that the property must be maintained and the grass cut. Okamura has 10 days to respond to the letter. The City-Parish says if Okamura does not comply with the letter to bring the property into compliance in 10 days, it plans to file suit for violation of ordinances. The property owner shows a listed address in California.

In front of the red and tan building is a tall box sign. Gaudet says the Department of Public Works will be removing this sign, since it violates an ordinance.

"It looks bad," said Benson. "This community deserves better."

It's got more than just residents upset.

A Baton Rouge property broker, Persac Property, Inc. was trying to find a new tenant for the location and tells 2 On Your Side it recently terminated it's agreement with the national firm that represents Jack in the Box, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank of Portland, OR. The Baton Rouge broker says it made numerous attempts to get Jack in the Box to clean the property but nothing was done. Persac Property, Inc says the lease agreement will run out in about a year and Jack in the Box is not interested in renewing.

"We just want it cleaned," said Stewart. "We want it sold."

Multiple calls made to Newmark were not returned Tuesday. Calls to Jack in the Box were not returned.

Next week, 2 On Your Side will check in with the City-Parish to learn more about any violations the closed Jack in the Box property owner might be facing.

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