Holiday inn

Midland County judge closes case on former Holiday Inn property

After months of hearings and delays, the 75th District Court is nearly done with the old Holiday Inn case.

Long considered an eyesore by many in the Midland community, the doomed hotel structure now sits like a ghost scarred by concrete remnants. Along with the possibility of reducing some of the owner’s fines, District Court Judge Michael Carpenter closed the court case in the case on Monday.

Owner Jeff Kern appeared in court on Monday, weeks after the structure was demolished. Ensuring the building was demolished had been Carpenter’s top priority for safety reasons.

The building was condemned in 2018 after multiple safety issues were discovered, including high amounts of asbestos, inadequate fire suppression, poor security and poor sanitation. The City of Midland sued Kern in 2020 and won his lawsuit in May 2021.

With the structure of the building itself down, only the concrete slabs, parking lot, foundation and electrical boxes need to be removed, City Attorney Jim Branson said. The site must also be re-soiled and re-seeded for the demolition process to be considered complete.

The city’s priority now is to make sure the demolition is complete before Kern’s demolition permit with the city expires on May 31, Branson said. The court will hold a hearing in June to decide whether to reduce some of Kern’s fines based on the work he did to demolish the building.

Branson said he was unaware of any plans by Kern to redevelop the property after the demolition is complete. The city would like it to be redeveloped. The Daily News contacted Kern’s lawyer, Floyd Gates, to comment on the hearing and ask if Kern was considering developing the property, but did not receive a response as of press time.

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