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Squatter Motel on Aurora Goes up in Flames before Demolition Permit Obtained

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Notorious Motel up in Flames

Wednesday evening, crews battled a fire at the former Hillside Motel in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. It’s unclear how it all started. This spot along Aurora Ave. is supposed to be vacant and boarded up. But drug addicts and the homeless are constantly breaking in and squatting on the property. Earlier this month, YouTube influencer Tyler Oliveira (@tyleraloevera) and I went inside to take a closer look at the conditions. We met two fellas who showed us around. They had nudie posters on the walls and drug paraphernalia everywhere. The building ownership group has been trying to get a permit from the city to demolish the property. But the project has been running into red tape and numerous hurdles. Neighbors say outgoing Councilmember Andrew Lewis (@CMAndrewJLewis) was never around to address the crime and other issues plaguing the former motel.

Jonathan Choe

Journalist and Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Jonathan Choe is a journalist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Wealth and Poverty, covering homelessness issues for its Fix Homelessness initiative. Prior to joining Discovery, Choe spent several years as one of the lead reporters at KOMO-TV, consistently the top rated television station in Seattle. His in depth stories on crime and deep dive investigations into the homeless crisis led to measurable results in the community, including changes in public policy. Choe has more than two decades of experience in television news behind the scenes and in front of the camera for ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, and Tribune. He has also been nominated and honored with multiple industry awards including an Emmy. Choe spent several years teaching classes on emerging media and entrepreneurship to under privileged youth in inner city Chicago. As an independent journalist, Choe also contributes regularly to the Mill Creek View and Lynnwood Times and has reported on exclusive stories in the past year for Daily Wire and The Postmillennial.