After years of complaints, blighted motel finally coming down

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Demolition crews began tearing down an abandoned motel Monday, which had become an eyesore and source of complaints on the city's east side.

Some said the old Hillside Motel on Blue Parkway had become a haven for the homeless, vandals and illegal dumpers.

With its stone cottages and tree-lined backdrop, some might think the motel is rather quaint. But it's been more than a decade since it actually welcomed any road-weary travelers.

During that time, city leaders say the out-of-town owner let the property run down.

And despite legal efforts to bring the buildings back into compliance with property codes, neighbors say trash began piling up and is being dumped there, vagrants were living inside, and there's claims of drug dealing and other illegal activity.

"Diligence," Alissia Canady, city councilwoman for the area said. "Perseverance is what comes to mind. It’s always good to have an advocate on the inside but when the community shows up and expresses their voice, city staff they are very busy. They have thousands of properties like this around the city. Then you’re dealing with the court. So it’ s not just a one person thing. It’s a team effort."

At one time, the motel welcomed drivers with the promise of color TV and waterbeds.

Now, after years of legal wrangling, the city finally has seized ownership of the land and is spending $30,000 to tear down the motel and its adjoining lounge building.

Once cleared, city and neighborhood leaders hope the land will be an attractive site for developers, because it's alongside Blue Parkway, where there are still thousands of drivers who pass by nearly every day.

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