Blighted Motel Closed Friday

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Columbus Police escort out a woman who was living at Motel One on East Main Street. A Franklin County judge ordered the blighted motel temporarily closed. The city prosecutor's office will ask for a permanent closure next week.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, WOSU News Reporter)
Columbus Police escort out a woman who was living at Motel One on East Main Street. A Franklin County judge ordered the blighted motel temporarily closed. The city prosecutor's office will ask for a permanent closure next week.(Photo: Mandie Trimble, WOSU News Reporter)

Columbus Police carried out a judge’s order to temporarily board up a problematic motel on East Main Street Friday afternoon. WOSU reports while the move is meant to improve the area, it’s a hardship for those who called the motel home.

“Columbus Police. If you’re in here sound off.”

Police officers went from room to room making sure everyone who had been staying at Motel One had received word to leave.

“25 is clear.”

Police escorted out a couple of stragglers: an elderly woman and a man. But the rest of the tenants were gone by noon. Many toted plastic garbage bags or laundry baskets that held their belongings.

Thursday, Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Harland Hale ordered the motel temporarily closed.

Near the intersection of East Main Street and James Road, Motel One is known in the community for its unsavory clientele, police runs and unsanitary conditions. Since November, the state fire marshal’s office cited the owners more than 20 times for code violations. Police have been called to the motel hundreds of times in previous years.

As city workers cut pieces of wood to place in broken windowsills to deter break-ins, others placed large orange vacant signs on windows.

Area neighbors came to watch.

“This is a very good situation for the neighborhood,” Scott Huggins said.

Huggins, a life-long area resident who leads the Kel-Brook Block Watch, said the closure is a step in the right direction.

“We have been watching this building get worse and worse and worse. And it hides the beautiful family community that’s behind it,” he said.

Terry Moore has owned Murray’s Tool Rental across the street since 1979. Moore said the community has tried desperately to improve, but he said the motel has been a thorn in its side.

“I think that one step at a time. You can’t take that mile without the first step, and I think this is a very large step,” Moore said.

Ashley Ross and Dean Groves surveyed the action from a gas station across the street. Ross and Groves had been living at the motel. The two moved to Columbus from Pike County last month.

“We came here because it was affordable. And now we’re just, pretty much like he said, we’ll be living paycheck to paycheck. We’ll be broke paying for rent, you know. But right as of this moment we are homeless,” Ross said.

Owner Helene Steed did not return calls to WOSU for an interview. Motel workers declined to comment.

Next week, the City Prosecutor’s office will ask Judge Hale to make the closure permanent.

Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1085440555 Docile Jim Brady

    » WOSU reports while the move is meant to improve the area, it’s a hardship for those who called the motel home. «

    DJB: Life is not always fair .

    Had downtown’s City Center not been destroyed , there were adequate cubic meters for low income housing for many more than Motel 1 housed .

    Pimps , hookers , drug sellers , robbers etc. share the commonality with the rest of us that they need air , food , water and shelter .

    When Al Capone was imprisoned , it was a hardship for the florists who provided flowers for the surplus funerals of his competitors .

    Legalize prostitution , eliminate the pimps , hospitalize the addicts , recycle the armed predators and the neighborhoods ought to be safer .

  • John Mark1478

    In this world there are have some places where some specific persons are forbidden for coming.Those shops are closed foe some days and then the people has to face a lot problems.

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