© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
A skyline that sprouts new buildings at a dizzying pace. Neighborhoods dotted with new breweries and renovated mills. Thousands of new apartments springing up beside light rail lines. The signs of Charlotte’s booming prosperity are everywhere. But that prosperity isn’t spread evenly. And from Charlotte’s “corridors of opportunity,” it can seem a long way off, more like a distant promise than the city’s reality.

Charlotte might buy, demolish dilapidated motel near Hidden Valley

 The Economy Inn on Reagan Drive was quiet on Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Nick de la Canal
A guest walks through the parking lot of the Economy Inn on Reagan Drive in north Charlotte on Thursday, April 6, 2023.

The Charlotte City Council will consider a proposal next week to purchase a dilapidated motel in north Charlotte, and possibly demolish and replace it with new affordable homes or local retail.

The Economy Inn motel sits on a 4.5-acre site on Reagan Drive near the I-85 and Sugar Creek Road interchange, and is directly adjacent to the Hidden Valley neighborhood. It's in one of the city's six Corridors of Opportunity, historically low-income areas that have lacked investment.

The buildings have fallen into serious disrepair and become a chronic hotspot for crime, according Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Steven Brochu.

"It seems to be a destination place for prostitution, drug-related activity. We have assaults. We have some violent crime that occurs there," he said.

Police have investigated an armed robbery, an assault and a drug violation in the same block as the motel just in the past month.

Purchasing and demolishing the motel could reduce criminal activity in the area, and make space for new affordable homes or local retail, said City Council member Dante Anderson.

"My hope is that we might be able to bring some housing there that would be for sale, that would create some home ownership opportunities," she said.

Anderson represents District 1, which includes the Hidden Valley neighborhood.

City Council will consider purchasing the property for $4.2 million at its meeting Monday night. The Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative, a public-private partnership of city and private philanthropic funds, would contribute another $1 million, using money held at the Foundation for the Carolinas.

A timeline for the project is unclear. In addition, about 11 people currently live at the motel, according to Anderson.

If the purchase is approved, the city and Crisis Assistance Ministry would try to help those people find new homes.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Select Your Email Format

Correction: This story has been corrected to clarify that the Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative would contribute $1 million, using funds held at the Foundation for the Carolinas. The story originally said the Mayor's Racial Equity Initiative and the Foundation for the Carolinas would contribute $1 million each.

Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal