MYRTLE BEACH — Myrtle Beach City Council voted Nov. 9 to demolish Coral Sands Motel after determining the Ocean Boulevard hotel is "unfit and unsafe for human habitation."
Just a few weeks ago, the motel owned by Vishu Bhambhani was closed for a year following a court-ordered temporary injunction because of drug selling and prostitution allegations. A judge who ordered the closing in October called the motel "a haven for drug traffickers and users."
The business can rebuild a new motel in October 2022.
City Council voted separately from the injunction to demolish the motel after the city's Construction Services Department Director, Chris Thompson deemed the overall cost of repairing the business too high compared to it $411,800 building value.
Myrtle Beach motel closed after being deemed a 'haven' for drug trafficking by judge"> Myrtle Beach motel closed after being deemed a 'haven' for drug trafficking by judge
The land value, though, is higher at $1.75 million.
Thompson listed electrical, energy and structural issues, a roof leak, sanitation and building safety concerns as reasons why the building is unlivable.
"This is not a good business, it's a business that is a blight on our community and it affects other business that are in our community," Mayor Brenda Bethune said before the vote Nov. 9.
Aside from Bethune, council members Michael Chestnut, Mike Lowder and Gregg Smith voted to demolish the building with John Krajc and and Jackie Hatley voting against. Councilman Philip Render was not present at the meeting.
Krajc and Hatley hoped to give Coral Sands 60 days to come up with an engineering plan to repair the building before moving to demolish it.
Myrtle Beach trash can traveled over 3,500 miles to Irish coast"> Myrtle Beach trash can traveled over 3,500 miles to Irish coast
"I don't think the building is going anywhere in 60 days," Krajc said. "So if we do everything we can to give every possibility we can — which we have so far — we are setting the precedent of 'We will give you every chance we can within reason but, in less than a year's time ... we are serious that this will be gone'."
Though Bhambhani expressed interest in repairing the building, Myrtle Beach law states that if the repairs cannot be made within a reasonable cost — usually 50 percent of a property's value, Thompson said — the building should be demolished.
Demolition won't happen immediately as officials will need to secure the proper permits, and Bhambhani could also appeal the demolition.
"This just didn't start overnight," Chestnut said. "I mean this has been a problem that has been going on for years and I think that we are at a point now where we just need to move forward."
Source : https://www.postandcourier.com/myrtle-beach/news/myrtle-beach-motel-closed-after-being-called-a-drug-haven-set-to-be-demolished/article_3842d102-4196-11ec-a341-1f4f38c457ce.html2011