A judge has ordered the owners of a decaying Battle Ground hotel to demolish the structure within 60 days due to years of neglect.
Judge Don Daniel, a former Tippecanoe Circuit Court judge overseeing an administration hearing Tuesday morning, ruled that the former Holiday Inn and Days Inn at Interstate 65 and Indiana 43 should be razed, the Journal and Courier reported.
The town council had asked for the order of demolition.
Vikram Mehta, president of REI Limited Partners, which owns the building, said Tuesday that he needed more than 60 days to figure out whether the four-story building could be salvaged.
"In the past, we've put buildings way worse than this back together," Mehta said after the hearing. "But not in 60 days."
Tippecanoe County health inspectors, building commissioners and town council members said the building was beyond repair and had no visible signs of maintenance since the company bought the property more than a decade ago.
If REI doesn't begin demolishing the building within the 60 days, the judge's order would allow the town to take the matter into its own hands.
"I don't know if he can do all this in 60 days, it's so bad out there," Steve Egly, Battle Ground Town Council president, said after the ruling. "But after 10 years of nothing, something's finally happening. This is at least a step."
Battle Ground added a short commercial strip in December 1996 when the hotel was still salvageable, but those who own the strip argued that they can't develop the property until something has been done with the decrepit hotel.