Sources close to the Courtesy Hotel situation say a demolition date has been set for the infamous establishment in West Hempstead.
After years of protests, paperwork and promises, the community will finally be able to celebrate the demise of what many viewed as an albatross. Around 11:30 a.m. on May 12*, the Courtesy Hotel will come down. It's not clear at this time how the building will be demolished, but as of Tuesday evening three construction vehicles were already parked on the property.
Speaking at a meeting of the West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association in March, Maria Rigapoulis, a representative for Mill Creek Residential Trust, the developer who now owns the site, said there will no doubt be a celebration planned nearby on demolition day. She explained that many local groups, leaders and residents played a role in closing the Courtesy's doors and will want to rejoice in its demise. She promised to provide more details as the day nears and laid out a timeline for to see in the coming months.
The residents of West Hempstead have enjoyed a series of small victories in their battle to close the Courtesy in recent months as Mill Creek (formerly known as Trammel Crow Residential) came closer and closer to acquiring the property.
In early January, the hotel's owners quietly closed down their business and boarded up the doors, but told reporters that could be "temporarily" if they did not reach a deal with Mill Creek. They finally handed over the keys in February and since then the developer has been working swiftly to secure the property. They erected a fence, abated the building for asbestos and filed the necessary paperwork to receive a demolition permit.
"Next week can't come fast enough for all of us in West Hempstead," said Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead civic association. "Thursday, May 12 will mark the beginning of a new vision for West Hempstead and one which will usher in a revitalization of the area.
"The residents of West Hempstead have shown an extraordinary ability to work together to see the demise of the Courtesy, but equally and more important to see the Mill Creek Residential apartment complex become a reality," she added, referring to the plans to erect the luxury rentals on the site.
She said,"Once the demolition is completed, the residents of West Hempstead can proudly say 'mission accomplished!'"
Stay connected to Patch for more updates about the planned demolition of the Courtesy.
*The demolition was originally scheduled for May 10 but has been moved to May 12.