Aurora Avenue Now Short a Flop House: The Seattle Motor Inn is Closed

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Shuttered: The Seattle Motor Inn is no more
Way back in the day--about three months or so ago--we profiled five motels on Aurora Avenue north, all of them targeted for shutdown by the city for the frequent violations of public sanctity (also read: law) that have have long occurred in and around them.

Subsequently, criminal activity near the motels continued at a semi-steady clip. Disgruntled prostitutes stabbed. Crack fueled Seahawks fans assaulted. And wanted felons, tried, and failed, to abscond.

But those living near Aurora Avenue north may hear less in the way of police sirens this week. Because yesterday one of the motels the city identified as being a problem closed.

According to Assistant City Attorney Ed McKenna, Dean and Jill Inman, owners of the five motels targeted by the city, shut down the Seattle Motor Inn yesterday due to a contractual issue between them and Limantzakis Properties, the local real estate development company they lease the property from.

The move was not an outcome of city's ongoing effort to shut the Inmans down, says McKenna, nor was his office made privy to the details of the Inmans contractual aggreement. But he suspects that it might have something to do with the boatloads of bad press heaped upon the couple and their landlord John Limantzakis' willingness to work with the city.

Also not working in the Inmans favor is the lingering matter of a lawsuit filed against them by the city attorney's office for delinquent tax payment. According to Alex Fryer, a spokesperson with the mayor, negotiations between the Inmans and the city have failed to reach a settlement. The Bothell couple is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on January 11.

A spokesperson for the Limantzakis company confirmed that the Inmans had entered into a long term contract to lease the Motor Inn, but said he could not go into details on the reasons behind the closure.

The Motor Inn is scheduled to be transferred back into the possession of its owners today, after which they'll either decide to find another use for it, or raze the place--news that will undoubtedly start up a chorus of hosannas from the North Seattle residents who have long complained about the Inman's stewardship of their five four properties.

But there's a turd to be thrown in that there punch bowl: just because the Motor Inn has ceased operation doesn't mean that its former patrons--pimps, pushers, prostitutes and folks who otherwise need a cheap place to flop--won't increase traffic and/or criminal activity at any of the other notoriously seedy rooming houses on the strip.

Looking right at you Italia Motel.

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