7 arrested in Univision demolition protest

Judge denies Univision demolition injunction; Demolition resumed Tuesday


The battle over whether demolition should continue on what was previously the Univision building downtown has been settled.

On Tuesday, Judge Janet Littlejohn denied a temporary injunction, meaning demolition of the building resumed effective immediately.

By 5 p.m., the main building was halfway from being completely demolished. Demolition crews were working quickly to level the two buildings on property.

Several protestors, along with a dozen or so police officers, were in front of the old Univision building Tuesday afternoon.

In total, seven people were arrested for blocking a passageway to the property. They were trying to stop crews from working.

One protestor, Antonia Castaneda, said, "This is a major historical site for Chicanas, Chicanos, Mexican Americans, Latinos, for San Antonio (and) for the nation."

The attorney for the plaintiffs -- the San Antonio Conservation Society and the Westside Preservation Society -- Eddie Bravenec said, "The best solution would have been having the developer sit down with everyone and (saying), 'How could we incorporate the current structure into something new?' It could have been a win-win, but instead, it's a lose-lose. San Antonio loses a historic building, the developer looks bad, there's angry citizens."

Their original argument was that the temporary injunction should stay until the issue goes to the city's Zoning Commission and, eventually, the San Antonio City Council for decision.

On the other side was the City of San Antonio, who insisted that all proper avenues were taken when the demolition was ordered, and it was not until the building started to come down that complaints were made.

The developer plans to build a 350-unit apartment complex in place of this old TV station.

Mayor Julian Castro said it's important to recognize and preserve history, but that the building itself is not of historical or architectural significance and he supported the demolition.

A slideshow is embedded here.

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