City orders St. Louis nuisance property, Grand Motel, to temporarily close down
Grand Motel in North City has been known as a nuisance for decades, some say.
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The City of St. Louis is ordering a nuisance property to close down after repeated calls for service at the business.
The city ordered Grand Motel on North Grand Boulevard in north St. Louis to close down for five months after at least 86 calls for service from August 9, 2021 to August 9, 2022.
According to court documents, Grand Motel has 30 days from Friday to close down. The calls for service stem from things like prostitution, rape, shootings, drug overdoses and assaults. The documents also show at least four people overdosed at the motel this year.
Alderman Brandon Bosley represents the ward where the motel is located. He told News 4 there are more than 1,000 nuisance properties in the city.
“Whatever the community is not doing, there has to be some type of enforcement for those individuals who have to enforce the law,” Bosley said. “We’re always working on changing the laws. We still don’t have the manpower to actually go out here and address all these different nuisance properties.”
The alderman said he’s planning to help sex workers and those struggling with addiction in and around the motel before the temporary closure.
“It’s on us if someone gets drugged in there and raped,” Bosley added. “It’s on us if somebody goes in there and overdoses.”
Mo Ho Justice Coalition is a sex worker advocacy organization that provides supplies and resources for sex workers and individuals struggling with addiction. Lead organizer Rachel Hurtado told News 4 the coalition passes out supplies to people at and near Grand Motel weekly.
“No matter how many times the police show up, the problem is not solved by their presence,” Hurtado said. “We distribute harm reduction supplies and safer sex supplies. I definitely think these type of efforts for harm reduction mitigate the violence and the danger. The city shutting down the motel is only going to proliferate the problem and make it pop up in a nearer area. There’s a fundamental misunderstanding, and we are aiming to communicate to everyone that sex work is work. Sex work is labor. It is legitimate labor.”
Hurtado said the city needs to invest more in North City.
Copyright 2022 KMOV. All rights reserved.