Capri Motel on Tulane Avenue -- said to be prostitution, drug magnet -- sold to new owners who want to demolish it _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The Capri Motel on Tulane Avenue photographers on February 5.

The Capri Motel on Tulane Avenue has been sold and may soon be demolished if the city’s Department of Safety and Permits gives the go-ahead.

Records show the 18,966-square-foot building has been sold to 2424 Tulane Ave. LLC, which has ties to Kevin and Ryan Frischhertz, according to paperwork filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

Both men are managers at Frischhertz Electric Co. in the 4200 block of Toulouse Street.

The company filed an application to demolish everything on the property last week — welcome news for neighbors who say the hotel has been a magnet for drug dealing and prostitution.

The new owners didn’t respond to questions about what they hope to build on the site, but in the past three years, developers have floated ideas ranging from a fast-food restaurant to a hotel.

If a business does go on the property, neighbors hope it will be vastly different from the now-shuttered Capri, according to members of the Tulane-Canal Neighborhood Association, a group formed earlier this year that keeps tabs on projects along that stretch of Tulane Avenue.

“Anything other than what it is or was will be better,” said Justin Pitard, a co-owner of nearby Avery’s Po-Boys.

Pitard said he heard the new owners may want to put in condos or a parking lot, but he hasn’t been able to get in touch with them to confirm their plans.

Last month, he told neighbors he hoped the change in ownership would lessen or eliminate problems with sex workers. “The corner of Rocheblave and Tulane is a hot spot for prostitution,” Pitard said then.

The property was sold in late April.

The sale is another sign of a resurgence along Tulane Avenue, due in large part to the construction of a new $2 billion medical complex. The University Medical Center opened last year, and the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center is slated to open at the end of this year.

The avenue also is undergoing an $11 million beautification project. The streetscape improvements, intended to make Tulane more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, involve widening the neutral ground and reducing the street from six to four lanes between South Carrollton and South Claiborne avenues.

According to the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office, the motel’s last owner was Tsui Chang, who bought the property in 2006 for $990,000. In 2013, it was listed for sale at $3.2 million.

Back then, fast-food restaurants and retail chains expressed interest, but the offers didn’t meet the asking price, and Chang took it off the market. Earlier this year it was listed again, for $3.3 million. The actual sale price isn’t known.

Residents who want to weigh in on the demolition request can attend a meeting of the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee at 2 p.m. June 20 in the City Council chamber at City Hall.