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 at 410 N. Main began Wednesday and will take about two weeks, said developer Brad Wilson.
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 an upscale, $6.5 million townhouse project with 37 units on the site.
"I couldn't be more excited for Kaysville," Wilson said.
Councilman Ron Stephens, on hand for the demolition Wednesday, said the new project is of quality and will be a win-win situation for the city 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.
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 left 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, about 25 tenants were still living in the motel until the last few days of their July 20 eviction date.
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 that had been living in the house on the property and previously belonged to the motel caretaker, said Courtney Mercier, Destination Homes marketing director.
All of the cats and kittens were turned over to No More Homeless Pets and have since been adopted, she said.
However, the moving of the other tenants didn't run as smoothly as it did for the felines.
One concern motel tenants shared with the media, thatcreated 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, Cummings said.
Wilson's townhouse project proposal, which included an April rezone of the property from general commercial to a multidwelling R-4 zone, received the city council's final approval June 21.