KANSAS CITY, Mo — It’s a piece of Kansas City lore some residents could do without — and now it’s gone.
Residents in the city’s Historic Northeast looked on as the Motel Capri was torn down on Wednesday morning. Some people living in the metro think of it as a landmark that fell into the wrong hands.
“I’m glad to see it gone.” Those words came from a neighbor living just down Independence Avenue from the old motel, which had stood at the intersection of Paseo and Admiral since the late 1950s.
Heavy machines went to work on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday, wrecking the old inn, which in its brighter days, was a destination for many travelers, including musical acts stopping in the metro to perform.
However, crime maps from the Kansas City Police Department shows assaults and robberies in the Capri’s neighborhood. One KCPD officer told FOX 4 News it had become a “magnet for crime.”
“It’s an important piece of property,” Dr. Marc Hahn, Kansas City University President, said. Hahn says he was approached about buying the land within the past year. His school has called the Northeast its home for 99 years.
“The head of the Paseo had been the grand entryway to the city back 75-100 years ago,” Dr. Hahn said. “There’s a great opportunity for that to again be the grand entryway from the north to Kansas City.”
Dr. Hahn says by investing in the neighborhood, Kansas City U can help give its neighbors relief from the crime the Capri used to present.
News of the motel’s demise is welcome for people living at Choteau Courts Apartments, a public housing facility on Independence Avenue. Nickie Thomas has lived down the street from the Capri for four years, which, she says, is long enough to have seen police tape, prostitution and murders.
“I have children,” Thomas said. “My children, when they wake up in the morning, and they see crime scene tape up the street, it kind of worries them about their area and their neighborhood they’re living in.”
For the time being, Dr. Hahn says the school plans to allow the old motel site to return to being green space. However, he says his school is growing, and that could demand the land to be repurposed soon.
KCU’s president won’t say how much the school paid for the land.
Demolition of the old Capri Motel should be completed by late June.
(Reporter’s note – two photographs used in this story were provided by editors at Northeast News (http://northeastnews.net.) We thank Michael Bushnell and Kirstin Mulligan for their assistance in obtaining them for use.)