Jumpolin Lawsuit Settled

But terms of the settlement aren't being released

The court case centered on the Jumpolin piñata store – a longtime Eastside fixture before its demolition by new property owners – has been settled. But details on that settlement aren’t forthcoming.

Sergio and Monica Lejarazu (Photo by Jana Birchum)

“It’s been resolved,” said attorney Doran Peters, who represented plaintiff business owners Monica and Sergio Lejarazu in the case. Peters later emailed, “I can’t comment on my feelings about the resolution, only that there was a resolution.”

Whatever its terms, the settlement brings to an end a portion of the Jumpolin saga. In the wee hours of the morning of Feb. 12, the Lejarazus arrived to work to find the business they had gradually built into a neighborhood staple since emigrating from Mexico reduced to rubble, after property owners F&F Real Estate Ventures secured a wrecking crew to knock the place down (see “Sign of the Times?” Feb. 20). A subsequent check of city permits revealed the new landlords (a pair of recent Vanderbilt University grads who had bought the property in Oct. 2014) had hoped to capitalize on the upcoming throngs lured to SXSW by applying for a city permit to stage a party on their newly purchased land, while concurrently seeking a demolition permit (see “Gentrification Refugees,” Feb. 27) – unbeknownst to the Lejarazus.

The case continues to galvanize Eastside residents, who point to the case as an extreme example of the wave of gentrification that’s swept over the area. Since the Jumpolin demolition, the landowners have welcomed the Blue Cat Cafe to the spot where the piñata store once stood – further rankling the Lejarazus’ supporters (see “A Case of Gentrifurcation?” Aug. 7).

The Lejarazus are still seeking a new business base – a quest complicated by prevailing rental rates exponentially higher than the terms of their former lease. They had sought damages against F&F Ventures for the loss of their livelihood.

With the case now resolved, did they make out okay? Will they be able to resume their livelihood? Will Jumpolin rise from the ashes? For now, it’s a mystery: A call to them seeking comment went unreturned. Wallace M. Smith, the attorney for F&F Ventures, also declined comment when reached at his office: “No sir,” he said tersely. “No comment at all.”

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