Szechwan Palace Restaurant
Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center and Garden
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2017–Customers at the Szechwan Palace Restaurant, located at the Chinese Cultural Center and Garden, were evacuated last night shortly after 9:00 PM when a suspicious item was found outside the restaurant’s entrance. Police taped off the Center and temporarily closed it while they investigated what turned out to be two oxygen tanks and medical-style masks left on the sidewalk about fifty feet from the restaurant entrance. The bomb squad was called to investigate and the Center was eventually reopened after the “all clear” sign was given about 10:45 PM.
Police were called after the oxygen tanks were found in a place they should not have been—in the middle of the sidewalk for no obvious reason. The restaurant owners are on heightened alert due to recent unsubstantiated reports of criminal activity at the Center by True North, owner of 97 lots at the property—Szechwan Palace owns the rest.
“True North has made unverified claims of criminal activity at the Center to support their aggressive fencing of the property. They have, however, failed to cite any police reports to support those claims,” said Thomas Simon, Spokesman for Szechwan Palace Restaurant. “By making public statements about alleged criminal activity, without any proof, to score points in a highly publicized court battle, True North creates an atmosphere which is extremely charged. Therefore, Szechwan Palace, out of abundance of caution, must do the responsible thing and call authorities whenever there is a possibility of risk to its staff or patrons,” Simon added.
As the Chinese Cultural Center continues to be open for business daily, we remind True North and COFCO management of their fiduciary duties to both the Master Association and the Condominium Association.
Though safety and security should be their primary concern, they have launched a campaign to make it appear that the Center has closed. They have had to be repeatedly reminded to turn the parking lights on after dark. The premature announcement on Google and Yelp that the Center is “permanently closed,” along with the aggressive fencing, lining up of large unlocked dumpsters in the front of the Center, the eviction of the anchor store and the removal of signage from the property all add to their narrative that we are not open for business.
The Chinese Cultural Center has been a safe-haven in Phoenix for the last twenty years. This mismanagement hurts business, attracts vagrants and homeless to the area, and can only lead to more situations like last night where we have to interrupt our daily lives to maintain safety and security, compromised by a partial owner of the property who attempts to float the narrative that the Center is closed and unsafe.
Szechwan Palace Restaurant reminds the community that the Chinese Cultural Center is open for business. As owner of the property itself, the Restaurant will maintain a safe, secure and customer friendly environment for all its customers.
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