COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A notorious Colonie motel that cost area taxpayers millions in order to house the poor and local sex offenders was finally demolished on Tuesday.
There isn’t much left of the old Blu-Bell Motel. The eyesore that cost taxpayers millions and gave local officials headaches is finally gone.
A bulldozer came to the Central Avenue site, and with a couple of whacks, the sign – a symbol of Colonie blight – came crashing down.
Before saying goodbye to the Blu-Bell, Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, gave NEWS10 ABC one last look inside.
It took more than a year and a half of legal wrangling, red tape and inspections to get to this point. The trouble goes back to 2014 when more than 700 code violations were discovered at the Blu-Bell and its sister motel, the Skylane.
Both motels were owned by Alex Patel, who for years pocketed millions in taxpayer dollars to house sex offenders and the poor. However, there was never any evidence that he used the money for upkeep.
NEWS10 ABC saw firsthand the holes, exposed wires, and the intimidating management.
To avoid $700,000 in fines, Patel accepted a deal—tear down the buildings and to never replace them with any other motels.
“It’s coming down whether or not I have to get into that bulldozer myself,” Mahan said.
But that was something Mahan left to the professionals instead.
Also on site of the demolition was Christine Benedict, Mahan’s challenger in the upcoming election. She gave her take on the project.
“I don’t know if we’d be here today with this happening hadn’t that gentleman fallen through the floor,” she said. “And I think what happened was they were really pressured into taking some action.”
Benedict is currently an Albany County legislator who represents the area where the motels are located.