No Tell Motel, Go To Hell?
This week's Crain's Chicago Business details a battle between Lincoln Avenue's Motel Row and encroaching gentrifying developers (free trial registration required). The garish neon-lit motels, with a long track record of being prostitute havens have a "honky-tonk look," according to Mimi Acciari, executive director of the Lincoln Bend Chamber of Commerce, and the city seems to agree. But motel owners are suing the city in federal court, charging that the city is singling out their businesses for demolition.
Although the court hasn't ruled, this would seem to be an open and shut case. The motel owners claim that they offer clean rooms at a low price to decent people. The city, and Alderman Patrick O'Connor (40th) say different. "These places have become less and less used by travelers and more used by people looking for transient housing and liaisons," he says. "They (are) terrible for our neighborhood."
Let it seem that Chicagoist is pro-developer, the motel owners' claim that they're just plain folks trying to make a living is kinda weak. The motels are cheap, but they also attract an unsavory element. So if local residents don't want them around, they should be able to get rid of them, right?