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Greenhaus, Scientology buildings demolished for downtown Phoenix apartments

People stood and watched as two buildings were demolished at 3rd and Roosevelt Streets in downtown Phoenix, despite pleas from the public to keep them standing.

The old Scientology building and the Greenhaus building have been reduced to rubble.

"Well, it's pretty interesting to watch (them) come down," said Jeff Yanovitch. "It's kind of sad. There was kind of a cool building here that got wrecked down, so it was kind of sad to see."

The Scientology building and Greenhaus have been demolished to make way for a 111-unit apartment complex called iLuminate, by Baron Properties.

There was a protest and an online petition to keep the Greenhaus building, which was more than 50-years-old. An artist had painted three distinctive birds on the side. Greg Zeitlin, an artist himself, says he's sad to see the art go.

"I think downtown Phoenix needs more, like high-density housing that is affordable, is the question. Will they be affordable? Or will it just be like another 44 Monroe – $100,000 luxury condominium apartments? I don't know."

The new property owners say they've commissioned the painter to paint a similar mural on the outside of the new apartments. People are hoping the new building and its new tenants complement the unique, artsy vibe of the area.

"Just really curious to see what the City of Phoenix is going to do in terms of developing, that's going to, like, make use of the empty space but still remain, still keep the identity of the neighborhood, which is sort of like this Bohemian/artsy/young vibe that they have going on," Zeitlin said.

The apartments are expected to be finished in 2016. The property owners say the units will likely rent from between $1,200 and $1,700 a month.

They say they plan to put up local artists' work in a community area of the building.