KAYSVILLE — Amid two abandoned vehicles, a swing set and scattered clothes and bedding, sits a track hoe, poised to continue with the demolition of the 44-year-old Far West Motel in Kaysville.
The demolition of the motel property began on Wednesday at 410 N. Main and will take about two weeks, developer Brad Wilson said.
Wilson, owner of the Layton-based development firm Destination Homes, has received the approval of the Kaysville City Council to raze the dilapidated 27-room motel, where at one time about 50 residents lived on a permanent basis. Wilson plans to build a $6.5 million upscale 37-unit townhouse project on the site.
“I couldn’t be more excited for Kaysville,” Wilson said of the project.
Kaysville City Councilman Ron Stephens, on-hand for the demolition, said the new project is of quality and creates a win-win for the city of Kaysville and Wilson.
“It is going to change more than just the (2.9 acre area),” Stephens said of the property. “I think it is going to reach beyond.”
Wilson said he hopes to have a model unit built on the property by January of 2012.
But before any building can be done, the motel, along with a motel caretaker’s house on the property, must be demolished and the property cleaned up. The site currently appears as if someone had left the property in a hurry.
“We let (the tenants living there) know what the timing was going to be, and what our intentions were,” Wilson said.
Stephens said he appreciated Wilson’s sensitivity in the way he communicated with those who called the motel home.
Yet, there was still about 25 tenants living in the motel who waited up until the last few days of their July 20 eviction to move.
The last family to move from the property did so the week of Aug. 15. It was a family of 10 cats and three kittens, who were living in the house on the property and previously belonged to the motel caretaker, Destination Homes Marketing Director Courtney Mercier said.
Mercier said all of the cats and kittens were turned over to “No More Homeless Pets,” and have since all been adopted.
However, the moving of tenants didn’t all transpire as smooth as the family of cats.
One concern motel tenants shared with the media, which created contention between the tenants and motel owner, Mark Cummings, was that their eviction would carry only a 24-hour notice, versus the 30-day notice apartment dwellers receive.
But on June 20, the motel manager verbally delivered to 25 tenants a traditional 30-day eviction notice, according to Cummings.
The townhouse project proposed by Wilson, which included an April rezone of the property from general commercial to a multi-dwelling R-4 zone, received the Kaysville City Council’s final approval on June 21.