AUSTIN, Texas - There is new information about why an east Austin business was busted up this week like one of the piñatas sold there. The property owners say the couple operating the business was given ample warning the building was coming down and they had to move out.
The demolition of the Jumpolin piñata store started early Thursday. Diane Ontiveros who lives next door says she was stunned to see her friends business being torn down.
"I heard some noise and I looked up my saw the front roof come down so I said what's going on," said Ontiveros.
The store was operated on a month to month lease by Sergio and Monica Lejarazu until the location was sold last fall. The couple admits they were notified by the new owner to vacate by the first of the year and according to Monica they didn't really realize their time to move out, had run out.
County records show the property is now owned by F&F Real Estate Ventures, which is operated by Darius Fisher and Jordan French. They were not on site but over the phone French told me eviction notices were sent out late last year and the couple was behind in rent payments.
City officials confirm a demolition permit was issued for the location on January 22. The only review was to determine if the site had any historic value. Despite the notifications, neighbors and customers were surprised to see the demolition crew show up.
"I asked him can y'all wait let them pull their belongings out the cash register paperwork stuff like that no they didn't let them they continue demolishing it by the time Sergio and Monica got here it was just gone," said Ontiveros.
A few broken piñatas made it to this porch next door - but many others neighbors say were snatched up by people passing by. The owner of the demolition company also tells FOX 7 that they actually helped the couple remove several valuable items out of a storage room before work got underway.