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Demolition of former Royale Inn begins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Demolition of an on old hotel east of downtown has begun.

Monday morning starting at 9:15, crews began tearing down the former Royale Inn near The Paseo and Independence Avenue.

Many neighbors say this motel was a breeding ground for illegal activity and has been an eyesore for decades.

The city bought the building for almost $2-million as part of The Paseo Gateway Project. They hope to improve the area by adding new sidewalks, wider ramps and added green space.

"Today being the first day of spring, I think this is really symbolic because you think about how spring brings in a new season and I think this represents a new season for the northeast area who have been waiting for years," councilman Jermaine Reed said.

Before Monday's demolition, crews have gone through the building, cleaning out each room.

"Not only will you see a lot of infrastructure improve here at Independence Avenue and The Paseo, but this is a wonderful extension from here all the way down to I-70 and there's a lot of vibrant businesses, a lot of wonderful neighborhood store here, and we think this could be the pin to make things work all the way down," said John Baccala with the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department.

Some of these walls had seen crime and prostitution for years. Including a murder back in 2011 when police found a woman's body in the stairwell