CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When the words "airport parkway" are mentioned in the Queen City, usually the well-paved road and its amenities leading into Charlotte-Douglas International Airport come to mind. However, there is another Airport Parkway that's far less desirable.
This one is the now-closed Airport Parkway Inn on Wilkinson Boulevard. While the lodging establishment has zoning and code issues, neighbors along the strip remember a different time.
Gus Karapanos has worked through the ups and downs along the Wilkinson Blvd - considering that he's spent many years at the Barbecue King and has seen an undesirable element emerge from the hotel.
"We're going on almost 60 years in business here," he said. "It brings crime and other things of that nature."
Complaints are backed up by numbers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD).
While officers were called out to the inn more than 300 times since January of last year, over the last nine months they've answered calls that have included assaults and disturbances.
Michelle Montgomery, who works down the block at the J&T Body Shop, has troubling memories of the patrons.
"They would be wandering up and down the streets out here bothering our customers and pan handling," Montgomery said.
Several weeks ago, residents let WBTV's cameras in to see the conditions they were living under. We saw leaking pipes and mold.
Building code violations resulted in the inn being shut down.
New places like Goodwill have opened, and along medic headquarters that's under construction, Gus Karapanos is optimistic.
"Either fix up the building or do something else with it," he said. His suggestion: "Tear it down."
Several attempts have been made to reach out to the owners and operators of that business.
During the last try, we dialed the listed number and all we got was a disconnected phone.