The city of Hamilton will officially take possession of the City Motor Hotel on Thursday, and one councillor wants to demolish the building as quickly as possible.
Coun. Sam Merulla says he'll introduce a motion at a council meeting Wednesday to get a demolition permit for the hotel, a 5,241-metre property he calls a den of drugs, prostitution and gun activity.
"The building has to come down very quickly from a liability perspective, and to prevent squatters," he said.
"Nothing has changed until the building is demolished and there's a clean canvass."
Council voted last August to expropriate the hotel and use the property for several purposes, including a transportation hub, commercial uses and affordable housing.
It voted in February to pay $1,960,000 in interest on the land. Due to a "complicated and cloudy title," a staff report said, it paid a number of groups, including a numbered company, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and KMTC-Key Management Technology Corp.
Developers are already interested, Merulla said. The next step is to choose a private developer through a request for proposals process.
"It's a project where we want to cross our T's and dot our I's so it's something we can look back on as a legacy project," he said.
Council will also vote on Merulla's motion asking for the province to grant the city the ability to govern Hamilton Police Service.
Currently, the service is governed by a police services board comprised of council and provincial appointees.
Merulla wants the city to govern it, or for the board to be comprised of city councillors or council designates.
The motion comes during a fractured year for the city and its police service. The city asked the service multiple times to trim its budget. Coun. Terry Whitehead, a council designate, was suspended from serving on the board last week.
The meeting starts at 5 p.m. Reporter Samantha Craggs (@SamCraggsCBC) will tweet from the council chambers.