Demolition begins at abandoned motel

HOUSTON - Demolition began Wednesday at the last of Houston's "Dirty Half-Dozen" dangerous buildings.

The bulldozing began Wednesday at the abandoned Aries Motel in the 8100 block of Gladstone in Sunnyside in southeast Houston.

"The demolition will include the removal of the structure, the parking lot and the foundation," Mayor Annise Parker said. "(It will) have a clean lot and hopefully we'll be able to get it back out to the market and have it redeveloped."

The demolition marked the successful end of Parker's goal to destroy the city's six most blighted properties known as the "Dirty Half-Dozen." Those properties also included 3902 West Little York, 10403 Forum Park, 3605 Crosstimbers, 5292 Memorial and 12540 Hillcroft.

The decaying two-story and 31-year-old Aries Motel has been vacant for three years. 

"I want to thank the Mayor for all that she has done," added Pastor James Nash of the nearby Greater Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. "She is familiar with this area and has been working with us for years. This blighted motel had shootings, drugs and prostitution. This is a great day for Sunnyside and all of Houston."

"This day is very special for me and my family and my neighbors. I am so glad because this place is no longer in front of my house," area resident Diana Maldonado said.

In the past three years, the city of Houston has demolished more than 1,000 blighted abandoned homes and 1,120 apartment/condominium units.

"We not only set an aggressive goal, we achieved it in record time," said Parker. "Although our resources are limited, I won't stop until we eliminate all of the dangerous, abandoned buildings threatening our safety, economy and quality of life. Now it's on to the next dirty half-dozen."

The Department of Neighborhoods will release the new "Dirty Half-Dozen" list in the near future.

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