SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Demolition is underway for what many leaders in Spartanburg County have called a nuisance and eyesore off of I-85 near Hearon Circle. Work has started on tearing down the Spartanburg Motor Lodge, a place that’s been the scene of handful of fires.
A pile of bricks now resting where part of the Spartanburg Motor Lodge once stood.
“I was wondering years ago why it wasn’t taken down,” said Mike Vagi who told 7 News he works near the vacant lodge.
“To see older areas redistricting being redeveloped, I think it’s great,” said Spartanburg County Resident, Ryan Kiser.
Alex Whaley and his crew are working on the demolition.
“We get out any of the wood debris, the household goods inside and after that, we sort that material,” said Owner of Wilma’s Petroleum & Demolition Inc., Alex Whaley.
He told 7 News, he’s no stranger to the legacy this lodge has left behind.
“There has been a lot of crime here, there’s fires and everything so some will be happy to see it gone, there’s vagrants living here,” Whaley said.
He’s not wrong. A handful of local fire departments have spent a lot of time there in the past couple of months alone.
“We’ve been out there every time that it has burnt. In the past couple months, probably three to four times,” said Hilltop Fire District Fire Chief, Donald Millis.
The same goes for some other county agencies.
“We’ve had over 2,000 responses from the sheriff’s department, EMS, fire departments and our code enforcement people. If you average those at $300 a visit which is probably far greater, that’s over $600,000 that the citizens of Spartanburg have invested in giving this owner the chance to clean it up,” said Spartanburg County Councilman, David Britt.
Spartanburg County Councilman, David Britt has been a part of this push to get things moving on the vacant lodge. He told us, they couldn’t wait anymore.
“What enabled us to be able to do it was a resolve from the council and our administration that we’re not going to accept this anymore,” Britt said.
Britt said the owner of the property has been given ample notice. That owner is College Square Hospitality Inc.
So what’s next for the land? Britt told us, the dilapidated lodge was holding back other development options for the stretch of road it’s on. But now, he said the potential is limitless.
“You’re going to see some great things happening between Hearon Circle and Business 585,” Britt told us.
As for the owner of the property, he has yet to return our calls about the demolition or appeal. He did tell us in a previous story, he was trying to sell the land but claimed he wasn’t having much luck because of reports of a growing homeless population in the vacant buildings.
You can find previous articles on the Spartanburg Motor Lodge below: