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Local

Walls to come tumbling down: DeKalb's Travel Inn to be demolished in coming weeks

The vacant Travel Inn, formerly a 120-room hotel at 1116 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, sits behind fencing Tuesday.
The vacant Travel Inn, formerly a 120-room hotel at 1116 W. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, sits behind fencing Tuesday.

DeKALB – A DeKalb hotel that has been closed for six years soon will be demolished, according to city officials.

DeKalb Sixth Ward Alderman Mike Verbic provided the update during the Monday City Council meeting at DeKalb Public Library. He said he reached out about a year ago to the owner of the Travel Inn building on Lincoln Highway to see if there was anything the city could do to help with the property.

Verbic said city staff, including DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas, worked with the owner to help with the property and its demolition.

"The fence is now up around the entire perimeter of the property as of today [Monday] and demolition should begin soon," Verbic said.

The update comes after the hotel was shut down by city officials in 2014 after several city inspections uncovered unhygienic and dangerous conditions. Those conditions included holes in the drywall above showers, black mold in room refrigerators, filthy carpets, toilets that were not properly secured to the floor and severe deterioration of the second-floor balcony and railing.

City inspections aside, DeKalb police also found and removed a methamphetamine lab in a room at the hotel on Oct. 27, 2013 and initially arrested three people for allegedly cooking methamphetamine there. About a dozen other people later were accused of participating in that conspiracy.

Nicklas also said during the Monday meeting the "big three" properties within the city – Campus Cinemas, Travel Inn and the previously condemned Edgebrook Manor Apartment complex – are coming down. He said the Campus Cinemas building in the Annie Glidden North neighborhood is almost down after demolition began last week, with the Travel Inn demolition now on the way.

Nicklas also said the funding is in place for the demolition of the condemned apartment complex at 912 Edgebrook Drive and the city is out for bid for that project.

"So by the end of the calendar year, as we had discussed back in January or February, we hope to get all three of those removed and have better things there, hopefully," Nicklas said.

Nicklas said after the meeting the Travel Inn demolition is expected to occur within the next few weeks.

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