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A Mini problem: Design stores catch heat from city officials for hanging replica of car on building

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5, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
Code inspectors doled out three citations for the floating Mini Cooper promotion in late December. Photo by Tyler Rudick
Mini Cooper, Times Square, January 2013
The car company recently installed a similar campaign in Times Square. Photo by Asterio Tecson/Flickr
1, Mini Cooper on building, January 20131, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
For now, the Mini remains . . . the building owner hopes to get the installation approved by the city this week. Photo by Tyler Rudick
4, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
Though made of a fiberglass, the car look surprisingly real . . . even upon close inspection from a second-story window. Photo by Tyler Rudick
3, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013, citations
The city demanded for building tenants to remove the car in late December and requested that barricades be installed. Photo by Tyler Rudick
2, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
According to the building owner, the Mini was installed by a professional sign company, which enlisted the help of a structural engineer to ensure public safety. Photo by Tyler Rudick
5, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
Mini Cooper, Times Square, January 2013
1, Mini Cooper on building, January 20131, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
4, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013
3, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013, citations
2, Mini Cooper on building, January 2013

Houston code inspectors must have been speechless in late December when they stumbled upon a Mini Cooper attached to the side of an Upper Kirby building

The city immediately deemed the installation a safety risk, ticketing the building's two modern design stores — Parvizian Rugs International and Internum — for improper signage, asking them to remove the floating car and erect a barricade to help passers-by avoid walking beneath it.

The team  of panicked city inspectors had no idea it was a fake when they issued no less than three citations.

But according to Hayden Parvizian, who owns the building at 3303 Kirby as well as Parvizian Rugs on the second floor, there's a trick keeping a 2,600-pound vehicle in mid-air . . . It has to be made of fiberglass.

"The car's actually just a hollow display piece from Mini Cooper to show off the new S series," he told CultureMap on Tuesday.

"We're working with Momentum Mini for the campaign, which was recently done in Times Square where there's a lot more foot traffic. It's completely safe. We had it installed by professionals with assistance from a structural engineer."

Unfortunately, the team of panicked inspectors had no idea it was a fake when they issued no less than three citations. In their defense, though, the car looks pretty damn real.

Parvizian explained that the city doesn't exactly have a "floating Mini" section in its current building code. With the support of several officials, however, he hopes to have the installation officially approved by Friday.

Don't miss the KHOU Ch.11 report for additional video footage:

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