Blighted motel demolished | News
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT)- Only our cameras were on scene as construction crews demolished an abandoned motel that's caused Chesterfield Police and residents many problems over the years. The crumbling building on Willis Road was clearly visible from Interstate-95. Now, it's no more.
It's been called an eyesore, a blighted property and unsafe. The Economy House Motel became a safe haven for criminal activity.
With one strong swoop by a massive excavator claw, the last wall crashed to the ground. And with it, a reputation as a magnet for vagabonds. It was a regular stop for the police department. Officers were looking out for prostitution and drug activity.
The abandoned property has been on County Building Inspector Wilson Reed's list for almost two years.
"Have had a really tough time getting this property to the point where it was safe for the general public," he said.
In fact, the county couldn't even get someone to board up the windows and secure the building because it was so unstable.
"Had a lot of collapsing portions in the roof," Reed explained. "We had some unsafe sections where the walls were partially collapsing. The roof overhangs were sagging and collapsing."
When the county was looking into bulldozing the motel itself, the price tag reached upwards of $100,000 for demolition and asbestos remediation. In today's tough budget times, that simply wasn't doable.
After navigating complicated state laws and building codes, Reed worked through a succession of owners, foreclosure and a bank closing. The new owners are cooperating to help bring the decaying building tumbling down.
"Hopefully, it will become a nice, sprawling piece of commercial property that will be very valuable and sellable in the future for the new owner," Reed pictured.
The owners haven't released any future plans just yet.
Building officials are working on similar blighted properties in an attempt to clean up areas of Chesterfield County.
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