Vacant hotel is a homeless hot spot

PLYMOUTH, Ind. – The sign outside the Comfort Suites hotel on North Michigan Street reads “Opening 2012,” but those number have change a couple of times. “It used to say open 2010,” Steven Wleklinski said that hotel was supposed to open two years ago but the project has been abandoned.

“It’s just dumb; just finish it,” Wlekinksi said outside his home right next to the construction site, “Because it’s been like that for two years just open like that for two years.” Wlekinski said the vacant lot and the unfinished hotel have been nothing but trouble, “It really has just sitting there for no reason.” Wlekinksi said the building has attracted the wrong crowd and brought more crime to the area.

The hotel is just a shell but people who live nearby said homeless people check in and out of there on a regular basis. All the doors are boarded up but somehow people are getting in. “They’re breaking into the building, it’s really bad,” Juanita Krow said the squatters used to stay in the hotel but recently started to venture over the fence and into her neighborhood.

Last week a homeless man wandered in between the homes and tried to break into Krow’s house, she said he wanted money, “They get kind of carried away.”

Squatters have stirred up concern for many people in the neighborhood, Wlekinski said, “They just play around and then they just come out.”

Neighbors said before the homeless people inside the hotel were a nuisance but now they’ve become a danger in the area. Wlekinski said one man came out of the hotel covered in blood, then he came over and knocked on his door, “Hey man how’d you cut yourself?” Wlekinski said he asked the man, “Oh I just was playing in some abandon hotel over here.’”

Wlekinski said everyone in the neighborhood is more cautious, they all look out for one another but several people said they went out and bought some extra protection. Krow said that’s what she recommends, “Get a watch dog that’s big enough so that they can scatter them out of here when they come around.”

The additional security may help, but to really keep the neighborhood safe Wlekinski said something needs to be done with the hotel, “Just get it up or tear it down and get something else up there.”

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