Lawsuit filed against City of Phoenix over historic building

[Source: Syleste Rodriguez, KPNX Channel 12 News] — The fight heats-up over plans for a downtown development.  Several groups are fighting to keep the Sun Mercantile building protected from high-rise developers.  This civil suit is asking to preserve this site, once home to the only grocery wholesale business in the state.  The future of this piece of history, now left in the hands of a judge.  It was the city’s original Chinatown, this historic building now faces a threat, from high-rise developers.  “My father in law’s business was on this end,” Pearl Tang said.  Brick by brick, Pearl Tang’s father-in-law’s wholesale grocery business boomed.  “It stands to show how much the Chinese Americans participated in building the state of Arizona,” Tang said.

Developers want to build 11-stories on top of the Sun Mercantile Building, and another building 39-stories high East of where the Suns play.  The 39-story building would be the second tallest building in downtown Phoenix.  Last month, the city gave developers the green light for both projects.  Now, the 11-story project is being challenged with a lawsuit, the city plans to comment on the lawsuit next week.  “Of course it would destroy all the landmarks,” Tang said. 

Suns CEO Robert Sarver was unavailable to comment Thursday, but told 12 News in December he wants to pay tribute to the Chinese American contributions to the city while moving forward with redevelopment.  Tang appreciates Sarver’s plan, but says it isn’t enough.  “I think the city should have something to show for it’s history,” Tang said.  The Phoenix City Council approved the high-rise project for both buildings in December. [Photo source of Reporter Syleste Rodriguez: Channel 12 News.]

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