The Globe Inn, a longtime Longview landmark of ill repute, soon will be only a memory.
Demolition begins Thursday at the former motel at 1296 E. Marshall Ave., according to an ownership representative.
Whitney Schaap is a consultant on the project for Dr. Christopher E. Ihionkhan, president of Equex Management Co. LLC, which bought the property last year.
Schaap called the location both “the armpit and the heart of Longview.”
No definite plans have been made, she said, but the property could play in to Mayor Andy Mack’s ideas for boosting visibility of an adjacent city park. Ihionkhan met last week with other people interested in constructing a new entryway into Teague Park.
“There are plans that are developing with the city,” Schaap said. “Dr. Chris is definitely on the city’s team and seeing if there’s a way to gift the land to the city. Mayor Mack wants the entrance to be seen from Highway 80, and our property the Globe Inn would be real conducive.”
Gregg Williams Construction Ltd. of Longview has been hired to demolish the Globe Inn, she said.
“He recycles anything that is recyclable, and I like that about his company,” Schaap said of the contractor.
The consultant advised the public to use caution when walking or driving past the demo site. Last week, a vehicle knocked down a utility pole at the site, she said.
Globe Inn closed after a case filed in April 2018 by the city with the Texas Attorney General’s Office under the state’s public nuisance abatement law, which provides a way to shut down any property where illegal activity is allowed to occur by the owner.
More than 2,400 police contacts and 250 arrests were documented by the Longview Police Department over a three-year period ending Jan. 31, 2018.
The motel closed in September 2018. Equex Management fully acquired the property June 17, according to Gregg Appraisal District records.
Since its closure, the former Globe Inn has served as training grounds for Longview Fire Department personnel, Schaap said, with young firefighters having practiced tearing down doors and hacking roofs.
Ihionkhan also is managing member of Sierra Blue LLC, which bought the former Johnny Cace’s Seafood and Steak House property at 1501 E. Marshall Ave., next door to his wife’s dental practice, Kindle Dental.
People in the community warned him years ago against locating the practice there, Schaap said, but his retort was, “‘Why not? When you have a toothache, you don’t care where (relief) is located.’ … He bought that because he cared about what’s next door to his wife’s business.”
Ihionkhan, a physician at Ancor Health Center, is a sponsor of the mayor’s Go-Giver Gala, scheduled Jan. 11 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center with the theme “Bring Back Teague.”
“I’m excited for the city,” Schaap said. “Dr. Chris is very excited about making that entrance and whole corridor for the community (and) for the citizens.”