Demolition teams in Kenner remove Veterans Boulevard eyesore

Demolition teams in Kenner remove Veterans Boulevard eyesore

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Kenner Mayor Michael Yenni on Wednesday announced the demolition of a vacant former hotel on Veterans Boulevard that had triggered a number of complaints from nearby home and business owners.

According to a news release from Yenni's office, the demolition of the building that once housed the Airport Inn and Suites in the 1300 block of Veterans was completed on Tuesday.

The removal of the building comes about two months after the removal of a structure in the 3700 block of Williams Boulevard that had also been the focus of neighbors' complaints.

The demolitions of both commercial properties were privately arranged by the property owners, said Code Enforcement Director Aimee Vallot.

"Commercial blight is just as great a concern as residential blight," Yenni said. "I am pleased the owners of the properties in both of these cases were responsible landowners, and I am particularly excited about the development of at least two new hotels on the Airport Inn property."

The owner of the Airport Inn property has said he intends to construct a new hotel complex on the site, which is not far from the new North Terminal of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Construction on the $650 million North Terminal project is expected to begin this summer and be completed by 2018.

Once city officials confirmed the private demolition of the Airport Inn and the date was scheduled, the Kenner Police Department scheduled a SWAT exercise the day before the hotel was torn down.

"It was a good opportunity for some SWAT training of forced entry, among other things," Kenner Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian McGregor said. "With the property being vacant, there was no concern about repairing any damage from the exercise."

Two officers assisted before the demolition, going through all of the rooms of the hotel to make sure no squatters were present, McGregor and Vallot said.

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