The city council voted 9-3 today to deny historic designation for the buildings in the 4700 block of Summit Street.
Advocates for designation argued that it would have given time to find a way to save the buildings.
But opponents said redevelopment was not financially feasible because the developer paid $3.6 million for the buildings intending to tear them down for a big project.
Katheryn Shields, Jolie Justus and Scott Wagner voted for historic designation and all other council members voted against it. Mayor Sly James was not present.
Shields and Wagner argued that historic designation could delay demolition for up to three years but need not if the developers could prove redevelopment was not financially feasible.
“We have to be sensitive to historic properties,” Shields said, “give them a chance to be saved.”
Councilman Scott Taylor, chair of the planning and zoning committee noted they previously voted 4-1 against historic designation.
The developers had asked if any company wanted to buy the buildings to renovate them but offers were “considerably lower than the original purchase price,” Taylor said.
There was a suggestion that the developer should not expect tax breaks for the project.