National News

Demolition of Chinese Cultural Center put on hold, for now

Posted September 28

— Supporters of the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix said they scored a big win on Wednesday to help save the center from being demolished. But the property owners said they won in court as well.

A judge upheld a temporary restraining order that prevents True North, LLC from replacing or removing any of the roof or remove or destroy any statues in the garden. However, the fence surrounding the center will remain.

The judge also said the plaintiffs must pay a $25,000.

The order is extended through Nov. 3, the next court date.

The ruling comes just days after community members and Arizona Foundation for Chinese Religious Rights filed a lawsuit against True North and the City of Phoenix, claiming religious rights and other laws were violated due to the planned changes at the Cultural Center.

The plaintiffs said they're not able to meditate or pray at the gardens at the center near the Loop 202 and 44th Street due to the locked fencing. When they tried to talk to those at the property, they were kicked off.

However, the construction company said the fencing around the center was put up for safety reasons and claims if people want to pray at the gardens, they can just ask. They also said Phoenix approved the fencing.

True North said it plans to convert the area into office space and has suggested the center be moved to Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.

The company said with the exception of the roof, the remodeling and revitalization of the center will continue.

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