Blighted properties: Lake Charles officials take action on Capital One Tower, Motel 6

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 9:57 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In a last-ditch effort to clean up Lake Charles, dozens of properties are subject to a public hearing. If progress is not being made to the property, it may be deemed as blight by the council.

On Wednesday’s agenda, the council made the owners of the Motel 6 located on West Prien Lake Rd. as well as the building once known as ‘The Landing’ aware of the hearing. Both businesses are owned by an out of state company, Next Level Hospitality LLC.

“We are here to neither oppose or support this body deeming it a blighted property,” Next Level Hospitality LLC’s attorney said.

A representative for the company said demolition for the two properties is scheduled next week.

“That should take care of the issue, but we understand the city’s concern,” their attorney said.

October of last year, the council voted to increase daily fines for commercial properties from $500 a day to $1,000 a day. They also voted to limit boarded properties to 12 months.

The city makes this point about the Capital One tower:

“This structure has been clearly boarded up for longer than twelve months,” a city official said.

Attorneys for Hertz Lake Charles One LLC explained the company has been battling insurance for payment. The attorney said they filed suit at the end of 2020.

“We had a policy that provided up to $500 million in repair costs for that building, and we have not received our replacement costs,” Hertz’s attorney said.

She continued, saying a judgement was made against the insurer to pay for replacement of the building, but they have yet to receive anything. The company is set to go back to court on October 11.

“There is a person there,” their attorney said. “There is lights. We are going to rebuild, we have contracts to rebuild, we just need the money from our insurance company.”

The council voted unanimously to deem all three projects as blight. In a statement, the city said it reserves the right to impose civil penalties as permitted by code of ordinance.

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