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Demolition on the Lesspay Motel, pictured Tuesday, June 10, 2018, in Lafayette, La., could begin as early as next  week.

Demolition of the rundown LessPay Motel on University Avenue in Lafayette could begin as early as next week.

City Council Chairman Pat Lewis, who represents the area, said sales documents were signed and completed Thursday. 

HRI Properties of New Orleans plans to transform that property and others, including the former Coca-Cola plant, into a 40-unit apartment complex.

As early as next week, Lewis said, work is expected to begin around the motel, long considered an eyesore on one of the city's major entrances from Interstate 10.

"Finally, something's going to get done," Lewis said. "This needed to be done many years ago."

Revitalizing that property in a section of the city that has long been neglected, he said, may be the catalyst needed to spark further development. The area has been designated as an Opportunity Zone, which could help attract future investment.

In April, the City Council approved the transfer of $1.5 million needed for a loan to help with HRI's Bottle Loft Arts project. 

The city is the third mortgage holder and would not be paid back for 45 years.

Five million dollars in federal Community Development Block Grant funding has been committed to the project and the Acadiana Planning Commission provided $500,000 to help secure the grant.

Lafayette Parish Mayor-President Josh Guillory opposed the transfer of $1.5 million to a private developer.

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Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.