Demolition of old Holiday Inn near I-95 begins area revamp - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Demolition of old Holiday Inn near I-95 in Petersburg begins area revitalization

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

The old Holiday Inn near the area where I-85 and I-95 meet is in the process of being demolished.

Business owners nearby say they are thrilled that new life will be coming to the city's gateway. Sonny Anand owns the Royal Inn across the street, and says the building coming down will help his quality of life come back up.

"Drug activities, prostitutions, and that has dwindled our business quite a bit," Anand said.

 Petersburg City Manager William Johnson says the rubble will all be gone by February 2014.

 "It feels good because now the City, the community, anyone who drives 85 and 95 will know that the city means business," Johnson said.

This is all part of Petersburg's plan to revitalize the area where I-95 and I-85 meet. They are two of the busiest interstates in the country, but the interchange doesn't have new gas stations and hotels like you would see near other major exits.

The old Holiday Inn is right next to exit 52, and Johnson says it won't be the only abandoned building the city handles.

"We will be hitting every entity that's at Exit 52," Johnson said.

Anand says this is the new start the area has wanted, for years.

"I feel good for the City that we are getting rid of this hotel because it's an eyesore, and bringing some new development into this area, which is positive for all of us here," Anand told us.

It will be a new view for the 80,000 cars that pass here every day. A view that Johnson says, will speak volumes.

"You have to remember, pictures tell a thousand words, Johnson said. "And if you look into development and you see blighted property, you'll be a little concerned. Now that this is going down, everyone will see that the City and the Mayor's Council means business."

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