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Court Order Stops In-Progress Demolition Of Former Univision Building

Demolition on the former Channel 41 Univision TV station downtown was halted Tuesday morning due to a court order.

Demolition began at 5:30 p.m. Monday, shortly after the West Side Preservation Alliance was denied an appeal that afternoon to contest a previous decision that blocked a historic designation.

By the time the building was torn apart, about 50 percent of the building was torn apart. Susana Seguara with the Alliance was one of about a dozen people outside what remained of the Univision Building on Tuesday.

"If this couldn’t be saved, what can be saved?" Seguara said. "We’re not talking about the Alamo here, but this was the first full time Spanish language television station in the United States of America.

The activists secured a court order to stop the demolition, but were initially ignored -- workers eventually stopped.

The plan by Greystar, the South Carolina Company that bought the land from Univision, is to develop the land into a 350 unit apartment complex. Bill Kaufmann, who represents the company, said the company’s  demolition permit was held up for weeks and was issued after there were no more pending appeals.

"The truth of the matter is, they filed an appeal that was illegal and they’re complaining that the Board of Adjustment rejected it," Kaufmann said. "I think the board acted appropriately and they were successful in holding us up for two or three weeks."

Kaufman said the company is unsure of the legality of the court order but demolition has stopped for the time being. Both sides are due in court on Nov. 15 according to the order. 

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules