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The Smell's Landlords Say They Aren't Planning to Demo the Block

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At least, they're not planning to do it yet

The ominous surprise notice that showed up on the doors of several businesses on the 200 block of Main Street in Downtown last Friday might have made it seem like destruction was imminent for several Historic Core institutions, but it was all a misunderstanding, Kevin Litwin, COO of Joe's Auto Parks, tells Vice Media's Noisey. (Joe's Auto Parks is a division of L&R Group of Companies, which is listed as the applicant on the notices that told tenants someone wanted to demolish their businesses.)

The announcements were posted just before the three-day weekend on the doors of the buildings that house legendary DIY venue The Smell, the Downtown Independent movie theater, the New Jalisco gay bar, the Five Star Bar, the Shish Kabob eatery, and other businesses.

Business owners told Curbed over the weekend that they were totally blindsided by the news that their landlord had applied for a demo permit.

But there was no reason to get nervous, apparently. Litwin tells Noisey that "We literally had no plans" to raze the buildings. Litwin says that the company was just seeking the demolition permit as a way to keep all their options open, though he does not mention what any of those options are.

To help clear things up, Litwin says tenants will receive a hand-delivered letter this week that apologizes for the "inconvenience or concern" that the tenants experienced as a result of the notice, adding "we had hoped to communicate with you prior to" the notice going up. It also assures them that the property owners are "merely considering the potential for demolishing the building at some point the future."

Curbed has reached out to both L&R Group of Companies and RP Realty Partners (their real estate arm) for more information.