Real estate attorneys weigh in on why private owners may demolish Union Plaza buildings

Partially demolished building in Union Plaza neighborhood. (KFOX14)

The lawsuit filed by Max Grossman was in reference to the Texas antiquities act and preserving the historical buildings in the Union Plaza, Durangito, neighborhood.

Real estate experts tell KFOX14 Investigates, the fact that the buildings' owners are not named in the suit, could be a complicating factor.

The lawsuit filed for a temporary restraining order is against the city of El Paso. The city has repeatedly said these buildings are still privately owned.

Of course the position of those in protest Tuesday is that the city has entered into agreements to purchase these properties from the owners and therefore the owners are acting on behalf of the city.

KFOX14 Investigates pulled state demolition notices, dated for Sept. 12, 2017.

KFOX14 Investigates found the companies that own each of the impacted properties have been the ones to hire the contractors and file for the permits.

Real estate attorney Robert Skipworth tells KFOX14 Investigates, “If the individual owners are not named in the court case, the court doesn't have jurisdiction over them.”

He concurs with the city's position that the individual owners may demolish their own properties.

The city attorney's office sent a letter to the owners' attorney acknowledging that they did not have the authority to prevent demolitions, but asked that the owners refrain from demolishing the properties.

As of Tuesday, there haven’t been any finalized agreements between the city and the owners of the properties available to the public.

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