Renovations at Chinese Cultural Center move forward - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Renovations at Chinese Cultural Center move forward

Chain link fences went up around the Chinese Cultural Center on Wednesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Chain link fences went up around the Chinese Cultural Center on Wednesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Before crews could finish the fencing, the City of Phoenix shut down the crews because they didn't have permits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Before crews could finish the fencing, the City of Phoenix shut down the crews because they didn't have permits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The new owners say they're making improvements inside the 20-year-old center, and the fencing is just for safety. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The new owners say they're making improvements inside the 20-year-old center, and the fencing is just for safety. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Dozens of people showed up to Tuesday's City Council meeting in an effort to save the property's Chinese architecture and artifacts. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dozens of people showed up to Tuesday's City Council meeting in an effort to save the property's Chinese architecture and artifacts. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
During the past few weeks, protesters have braved the heat in order to help save the Cultural Center near 44th Street and Van Buren Street. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) During the past few weeks, protesters have braved the heat in order to help save the Cultural Center near 44th Street and Van Buren Street. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Phoenix City Council voted Tuesday night to move forward with a historic preservation study of the Chinese Cultural Center.

It was a big victory for those fighting to keep the center from being turned into office space.

[READ MORE: Phoenix City Council approves historical survey on Chinese Cultural Center]

But the celebration was short-lived. 

Early Wednesday morning, crews started putting up this construction fence as the new owners make renovations near 44th and Van Buren streets.

However, before they could finish the fencing, the City of Phoenix shut down the crews because they didn't have permits.

[RELATED: Fight over Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix far from over]

Those new owners say they're making improvements inside the 20-year-old center, and the fencing is just for safety, said a spokesman for the new owners, 69 North, LLC. 

[RELATED: New owners make statement amid concerns about future of Chinese Cultural Center]

"I think this is a first step... they want to demolish or start to demolish this architecture and its beauty," said Frank Zhang, president of the Arizona Asian Alliance.

[RELATED: 100+ protesters fight to preserve Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix]

There is nothing in the agreement voted on by the City Council that stops the new owners from moving ahead on construction plans while the preservation study is conducted. 

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
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Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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