40th District Court Judge Bob Carroll has dismissed the lawsuit filed by John “Larry” Burns, clearing the way for Southwest Securities to sell the Rogers Hotel.

Burns is the majority owner of Waxahachie Heritage Partners, LLC. Burns filed a civil lawsuit on July 26 contended that Southwest Securities unlawfully foreclosed on the Rogers Hotel.

The lawsuit named multiple defendants with Southwest Securities, as well as Burns’ former partners Dustin Autrey and James Howard.

Operating under Waxahachie Heritage Partners, LLC, Burns, Autrey and Howard purchased the hotel located at 100 N. College St. in downtown Waxahachie in July of 2009. Before the purchase was made by WPI the hotel had been vacant. The hotel reopened for business in September of 2009 as a mixed-used development. It featured spaces for offices, restaurants, retail and entrainment.

In the lawsuit Burns sought to reclaim ownership of the hotel, as well as damages and attorneys fees. Burns retained W.T. Skip Leake of Arlington, Texas as his attorney. When contacted by the Daily Light Leake declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.

According to the judgment filled with the District Clerk’s office, it states that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the Southwest Securities defendants are hereby dismissed with prejudice.

Burns and his attorney have 30 days to respond with an appeal before the decision is finalized.

Southwest foreclosed on the property about a year ago. The Rogers still has a few tenants but a large potion of the building is empty.  

Burns suit was filed a week before the hotel was to be sold by Southwest to developers Jim Lake and Amanda Moreno Cross. In the interim, Southwest Securities has turned over leasing operations and management of the hotel to Lake and Cross.

Lake and Cross have already closed on the purchase of five downtown buildings formerly owned by Ellis County on July 29.

Lake and Cross stated in previous interviews that once the lawsuit is over they will move forward with their intention of purchasing the Rogers. They plan to invest around $1.2 million into the hotel and $2.8 into the restoration and rehabilitation of the former county buildings.

Lake and Cross have success in developing other areas such as the Bishop Arts District in North Oak Clift and are working in the Jefferson Street area in Oak Cliff.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.