Chinese Cultural Center update: Beijing Gardens restaurant remains open
News of a remodel to Phoenix's Chinese Cultural Center announced last summer sparked a feud over property rights and preservation that is nowhere near over.
The center's new majority owner, 668 North, wants to get rid of the building's iconic Chinese architecture and transform the building into a sleek business center and corporate headquarters.
Members of the Chinese-American community revolted, first through protests and then in the courtroom. To date, community members have sued 668 North or its parent company five times.
In December, True North Companies, the parent company of 668 North, filed a defamation lawsuit against Charlie Lai, the owner of Super Ranch L Market.
At a Phoenix City Council meeting in September, Lai spoke about his dealings with True North and accused the company of lying and improperly evicting his business from the Chinese Cultural Center.
True North in its lawsuit alleged Lai knowingly spread false and damaging information about the company during the meeting.
Lai's attorneys have hit back. They have said the lawsuit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation that intended to censure Lai and other critics of True North.
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