ATLANTIC BEACH — The Showboat Motel on the Atlantic Beach Causeway has been sold, and town officials are hopeful it will be demolished before the end of the year.
According to documentation from the Carteret County Register of Deeds and the Carteret County Tax Office, former Showboat Motel owners Scott and John DeMichele sold the property June 11 to Showboat Investments LLC of Zebulon. The 42-room motel was sold for $2,250,000, according to the tax records.
Town Planning and Zoning Director Michelle Eitner said last week town staff have observed tenting for asbestos removal on the building in the past several weeks.
“In my limited experience, this is typically one of the final tasks before a structure is demolished,” Ms. Eitner said. “We anticipate someone (will be) coming forward with a permit request to that effect in the next few months.”
As of Thursday, no permits have been applied for or issued, according to Ms. Eitner.
The News-Times examined filings for Showboat Investments LLC submitted to the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State. According to the limited liability company’s articles of organization, Showboat Investments was formed April 3. Its organizer is listed as Windy Rose of Columbia. No phone number or email address was included with the filing, and the LLC doesn’t have a principal office.
An official with the company could not be reached for comment by presstime.
Mayor Trace Cooper said Sept. 11 he’d heard the motel was being sold, but didn’t know the sale had been finalized until he checked the county records in response to an inquiry by News-Times staff.
“We’ve heard from the former owners that they were given time to ‘move out,’” the mayor said, “and it appears that was happening over the past couple of months. I don’t know when any demolition will take place…but I’m looking forward to it getting underway.”
Mayor Cooper said the Showboat Motel hasn’t been in operation since Hurricane Ophelia came though Carteret County in 2005.
“In the interim, it continued to deteriorate,” the mayor said. “We monitored the property to determine if it had gotten so bad that we could condemn it and force a demolition, but it never reached that point.”
Mayor Cooper said despite the motel’s “unsightly appearance,” it was still “structurally sound.”
“Earlier this year we intensified enforcement of our property maintenance regulations,” he said. “That may have played a part in the former owners’ deciding to sell. Regardless, the structure is beyond repair and needs to be demolished.”
In recent months, the town council has been discussing ways to improve the aesthetics of the causeway.
Mayor Cooper said the condition of the Showboat Motel is also something he’s heard about from Atlantic Beach residents in recent years.
“It’s in a highly visible location at the entrance to our town,” he said, “and I look forward to seeing the property redeveloped in an appropriate and attractive manner.”
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.