The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 26, 2013

VIDEO: Demolition of Capri Motel begins; future use of site uncertain

From staff reports

— The Capri Motel is coming down after having been a south Joplin fixture for more than 50 years.

There are still no immediate plans for the site at 3401 S. Hearnes Blvd., which was being razed Tuesday.

“We’re not exactly sure what all is going to go there,” said Charlie Kuehn, a construction contractor with Four State Homes.

Kuehn said it is possible that the property could become a retail or medical complex. He said his company was continuing to buy property along Hearnes Boulevard near the motel, down to Countryside Flowers, 109 E. 39th St., about five blocks south of the motel, but he was not sure how any future development would be laid out.

“We’ve got some tenants we’re talking to, but nobody’s committed,” he said.

Troy Bolander, Joplin city planner, said Tuesday that no permits or zoning requests have been filed in connection with the property.

The motel’s owners of six years, Terri Selsor and her husband, John, said in October that they had sold the property and that ownership would transfer by the end of that month.

The Capri was one of several motels built in Joplin in the late 1950s and early 1960s to serve motorists traveling on Interstate 44. The 45-room motel was built in 1962, when South Main Street — now named South Hearnes Boulevard — was converted into a four-lane, divided highway from Interstate 44 to 32nd Street.

The former owners said most of the motel rooms were rented on a weekly or monthly basis to people who were displaced by the 2011 tornado before they closed the business.

SWAT team

THE VACANT CAPRI MOTEL was the site of a training exercise by Joplin’s SWAT team and police and fire departments earlier this year, in advance of the demolition.