Heritage House Inn cleans up after judge shuts down motel
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It was deemed unsafe and unlivable following complaints of inadequate living situations with criminal activity, including prostitution and drugs. However, now the Heritage House Inn on South University in Little Rock is being called a safe place to be by its residents. Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen had given court orders to the owners to immediately shut down the Heritage in 2012. This after Little Rock city attorneys argued that they had several court orders dating back to 2005 regarding city code violations. Less than a year later, along with thousands of dollars worth of improvements, the motel is up and running again with content residents. Back in 2012, the Heritage House Inn was old, falling apart, and boarded up with trash all over the grounds. Now it's a different site with renovations and much quieter neighbors. "The clientele that we have here at the motel now...is way different than we had...it was pretty bad back then, as everybody can see it's very quiet out here and we have zero tolerance," Heritage House Inn Assistant Manager Lisa Singson said. Singson also said a lot of work went into the rooms, including new furniture and fresh paint. So far, 70 rooms are now available for clients, while around 30 still need some work. "We get a lot of compliments about how well the motel looks like compared the way it used to," Singson said. "We have people here that are long-term that decide to stay here because of the living conditions now." "Friends you know ask me where I'm staying at and I tell them, and they be like 'oh girl, you don't need to be there, that's a bad place'...you know they got drugs all kind of stuff, and I'm like it's a lot different now, they got shut down and did a lot of remodeling, clean the place up," resident and employee, Tasha Rice said. Singson added that they re-opened in December 2012 just about 9 months after being shut down. She said that while it's still a work in progress, they are no longer getting complaints from residents.