GIAN DE POLONI
An abandoned motel long targeted by vandals and locally notorious for drug abusers will be knocked down and redeveloped, to the delight of nearby residents.
The Pacific Motel in Highgate will be demolished and redeveloped after the Town of Vincent approved plans advanced by its overseas owners.
City of Vincent CEO John Giorgi said the council received many complaints of criminal behaviour in and around the site.
“Over a long period of time, the Pacific Motel has been of concern to residents,” Mr Giorgi said.
“The proposed development will contribute to a change towards a more friendly residential area.
“It will significantly improve the use and appearance of the overall site and surrounds.”
The motel closed down in late 2004 and has since fallen victim to vandalism, graffiti.
Squatters have also become a problem in the building.
“It is derelict and a haven for drug users and squatters and has been in this state of years,” said one angry resident.
Another resident who lives opposite the site said he can see right into the building from his living room.
“I hate having to walk past that building every day on my way to work,” the resident said.
The defunct motel – which is near the chic Mount Lawley entertainment strip – neighbours a church, school and many houses.
Vincent Mayor Nick Catania said the quicker the building was demolished, the safer it would be for the surrounding community.
“This will mean residents living around there won’t have the problem of squatters indulging in antisocial behaviour and a place that could be the cause of someone getting hurt if they wander in there,” Mr Catania said.
The building is fenced, but is easily accessed through openings in the fence and the low brick walls.
Mr Giorgi hopes that redeveloping the 2500sqm site will increase the property value of rapidly gentrifying Highgate.
The owners now have up to two years to finalise a plan and commence construction.