All but one of 22 properties needed for arena construction willing to sell, city says

Union Plaza neighborhood (KFOX14)

The city clarified that not all the properties have been acquired to build the downtown arena despite the fact that the chamber of commerce chairman said they did.

The city needs to acquire 22 properties in the Union Plaza neighborhood to build the multipurpose and cultural and performing arts center.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, the chairman for the chamber of commerce congratulated the city in acquiring the properties during public comment.

But that hasn’t happened yet, according to the city.

The city said all but one of the 22 property owners in the area are willing to sell, but none have been bought yet.

Some like Hector Franco are worried about what will happen next.

"We try to stay here because we enjoy everything here. Everything is going to be different if we change from here," Franco said.

"I'm not happy, I'm not comfortable," Antonia Morales said.

The city hasn't said when the buildings will be purchased officially.

But until then, Morales said she'll still fight to make sure her home isn't taken away from her.

"A lot of us who live here are older.," Morales said. "We've lived here for many years, and it's not easy to move elsewhere and start fresh."

Franco, his wife and his father-in-law live within the arena’s footprint and said the residents are the ones being affected the most.

“My father-in-law is going to be 97 this upcoming month. It’s going to be hard for him. But what can you do? You cannot do a damn thing about it,” Franco said.

There will be meetings held for property owners and tenants about the area affected, according to the city’s website.

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