Demolition will start this week on a vacant building that many have called an eyesore and a magnet for crime on 118th Avenue.

The Cromdale Hotel will be torn down to make way for a new Shoppers Drug Mart. News of the imminent demolition was welcomed by those involved in revitalizing the central Edmonton neighbourhood, long known as the centre of the city's sex trade.

"We just kept on hearing that it was a possibility, but we just weren't sure," said community advocate Christy Morin.

"So for us, it's just really exciting to know that it's actually happening, that the [land] sale's gone through and that we're going to see a new neighbour on the avenue."

The demolition comes after a battle between the city and the property's former owners.

The Cromdale Hotel has been vacant since it closed in 2004.

The city issued a demolition order for the building in 2009,  but the owners fought back, eventually taking their case to the Alberta Court of Appeal.

However, they abandoned their legal fight in November and the property was subsequently sold to Shoppers Drug Mart.

People who monitor crime in the area hope the new building could help efforts to make the community safer.

"The theory that the whole revitalization movement has drawn from is  broken windows theory, which basically states that disorder happens when there's s disordered environment," said Alec Stratford, a City of Edmonton social worker and member of the neighbourhood's community empowerment team

Construction on the new Shoppers Drug Mart is scheduled to start in September.