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Owners of controverisal Burlington motel considering offers to sell

Owners of the Sterling Motor Inn are considering two offers to sell the property, according to a real estate agent representing the owners.

Sun Kyong Kim with New Star Seattle Properties said the property on South Burlington Boulevard will likely sell below its list price of $1.3 million.

The Burlington property was declared a threat to public health, safety and welfare by the City Council late last year because of the high number of 911 calls to the motel. Police were called to the property 209 times in 2015 for fights, drug deals, prostitution and burglaries.

In November, the city advised residents to leave the motel after an inspection of the property found methamphetamine contamination at up to 173 times the state standard for methamphetamine residue.

The second-to-last thing the city wanted was to own a hotel. The last was to see the situation going on there continue.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton

The motel lost its business license and is no longer allowed to rent rooms.

Burlington sought to buy the motel, but its offer of $739,000 was rejected by the owners.

Mayor Steve Sexton said the city’s offer was based on an appraisal and included the cost of demolition.

“The second-to-last thing the city wanted was to own a hotel,” Sexton said. “The last was to see the situation (crime, contamination) going on there continue.”

Kim said part of the property’s appeal is its existing utility hookups, which would save a new owner $200,000 to $400,000 over an undeveloped property.

Because of the level of methamphetamine contamination, demolition makes the most sense, she said. However, a new owner could renovate and reopen the hotel, though she estimated cleaning costs would be about $600,000.

Sexton said the city had been approached by several potential buyers, but he did not know which ones had made offers.

Kim said the lender who holds a mortgage on the property needs to sign off on any deal, and that she would likely submit an offer to the lender next week.

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