Charlotte leaders clash over motel demolition, move forward with project

They’ll be spending $4.2 million to make this purchase.
City leaders ultimately voted 6-3 to approve the project along the Sugar Creek Corridor.
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 4:52 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Members of the Charlotte City Council clashed over whether to demolish a motel plagued with crime in the Hidden Valley neighborhood Monday night.

City leaders ultimately voted 6-3 to approve the project along the Sugar Creek Corridor, meaning Charlotte will buy, demolish, and redevelop what’s now the Economy and Budget Inn Motel.

They’ll be spending $4.2 million to make this purchase.

Related: Charlotte leaders target Reagan Drive motels in crime crackdown

The plan calls for the Economy Budget Inn on Reagan Drive to be demolished. However, it’s not clear what will go up in its place. Townhomes or other affordable homes were discussed, but nothing was set in stone.

The plan also sets aside money to relocate people who live at the motel.

The motel has long been a site for criminal activity. WBTV has reported multiple times on shootings there; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s crime map shows this year alone, there have been more than 100 incidents in the area, including assaults.

Some Hidden Valley neighbors said the motel has been a magnet for crime and they want it gone.

“It has been such a bad place for us, the motel,” said Marjorie Parker, who lives in Hidden Valley. “The city let us down. And so now they’re doing something for us, and we’re just grateful.”

Some council members disagreed about how to approach the situation. Some say this is an opportunity for affordable housing and growth, while others aired concerns over the price tag and that the project may not serve the people it intends to.

“We have the opportunity to act and the responsibility to act, to have a direct impact to that corridor, to the lives of the individuals who call that home,” council member Dante Anderson said.

“My concern is simply I don’t know if we can afford to do much of this,” countered council member Ed Driggs.

“That is my challenge. It’s not just the fact of the funding, it’s the fact that we have consistently lied to you for decades,” added LaWana Mayfield. “We are not the ones who benefit once this new development comes in...”