- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

DEWITT, N.Y. (AP) - A longtime eyesore at one of the gateways to the city of Syracuse is finally being torn down after a decade-long effort by local officials to redevelop the property.

A demolition crew began knocking down the former Howard Johnson’s motel and restaurant Friday morning. The long-vacant, dilapidated building and overgrown property is located on Carrier Circle in the suburban town of DeWitt, just north of Syracuse.

The Howard Johnson’s motor lodge and restaurant with the iconic orange roof opened in 1961. It closed in 2003, and town officials had been working to get it torn down ever since. After eight years of negotiations, the property’s owner and the town reached a redevelopment agreement earlier this year.

The owner plans to build a new hotel on the property.

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