LUBBOCK, TX - It has now been one year since the Villa Town Motel off 54th Street and Avenue Q closed its doors to not only guests, but tenants who called it home.
On April 3, 2017, then 23-year-old Adrian Castillo was arrested after opening fire onto a group of people at the motel from the parking lot. The incident would later transpire into a deeper investigation of whether or not the establishment should stand any longer.
This, however, was not the first of its problems, as court records revealed a lengthy criminal history behind the motel's doors, ranging from prostitution, theft, drugs and even death. A week later, the motel's guests and tenants received notices from management ordering them to vacate the premises by the Lubbock County Court.
Today, however, the motel is now undergoing a lengthy reconstruction under Banyan Strategies, LLC, which plans to completely renovate the hotel and open it under new management. Crews, who were on site but did not want to go on camera, shared that they bought the motel six weeks ago for $540,000.
The company's co-owner said it will cost an estimated $1.5 million to renovate the hotel, which will include a restaurant and banquet rooms where the Tejano music club used to be.
Crews also shared that while they are excited to open a new hotel in Lubbock, they are currently dealing with past tenants who appear to continue breaking in to the premises.
After the motel closed, residents searched for sanctuary at agencies like the Salvation Army. Erica Hitt, social services manager of the Salvation Army, explained that even today, former tenants still visit them for help and resources.
"We took in several families after the Villa closed their doors," Hitt said. "Victims of circumstance. You know, medical problems, illness, they're trying to keep up with their bills and like I said they get tied into this daily rent. I mean everybody's story's different, but, we just try to help everyone."
Hitt said she wants to remind those who find themselves in similar situations that there are several ways in which the Salvation Army can help. To learn more, visit them at 1111 16th Street or contact them at 806-765-9434.