Freeport Hotel Condemned, Residents Must Vacate

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A hotel in Freeport is being condemned for the second time in five years.

City officials are forcing residents to vacate the Victoria Hotel after condemning it.

“What are my kids going to do?” asked Jasmine Wright.

The hotel advertises online as a two bed, one bath apartment and says it’ll allow residents the opportunity to own their hotel room.  But, the city says that’s illegal.

“An operation that isn’t allowed under city ordinance or the state’s laws relating to condos,” said Alex Mills, Director of Community Development.

Kevin Kaplan, manager of the Victoria Hotel, says he spoke with Mills about transitioning the hotel into a micro-living residency, but talks broke down.

“They never got back to us,” said Kaplan.  “I followed up with them many times.  They said they are busy.”

Officials now say the facility is not up to code and they have no other choice than to close the hotel.

“The city can not afford to risk the life and limb of the people who are there in a facility that doesn’t even have basic heat, a functioning boiler, a roof that is tight and the basic amenities that we take for granted in any hotel that you come to stay in Freeport,” Mayor Jim Gitz.

The hotel will be condemned Wednesday and some residents say they’ll leave them homeless.  City officials say they plan on meeting with the hotel owner to discuss what could be done with the empty space.

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