Harrison Twp "eyesore" hotel to be demolished

Harrison Twp "eyesore" hotel to be demolished (WKEF/WRGT)

HARRISON TWP., Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - An eyesore over-taken by hookers, squatters and drug dealers is finally coming down.

The vacant hotel near Dixie and Siebenthaler in Harrison Township will be demolished Tuesday.

“It certainly doesn't add to the appearance of our neighborhood to have an abandoned property sitting at our front door,” Neighbor Mike Herrlein said.

Mike Herrlein lives nearby in the Deweese Ridgecrest neighborhood.

He says the old North Plaza Inn was a hot-bed for crime. In just two and a half years, there were 2000 sheriff's dispatch calls to the building.

“If you have abandoned structures, you're just asking someone to come into them,” Herrlein said.

Courts took emergency action, ordering it closed. That allowed Harrison Twp. to demolish.

“Squatters try to keep warm and light fires inside the building,” Harrison Township Development Director Cathi Spaugy said.

Spaugy says it will cost taxpayers around three hundred grand to level, paving the way for new development.

“We see a real trend toward growth in this area,” Spaugy said.

The building will be gone in days, but what comes next remains a mystery.

The township doesn't own the property, but they'd like to see retail or small industrial businesses take over.

“We will be very careful with what comes here,” Spaugy said.

Even though Herrlein is encouraged by the future. For now, he's happy with a vacant lot.

“It sounds like they've got really good initiatives going, so whatever they put in will be an improvement, that's for sure,” Herrlein said.

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