MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The city of Myrtle Beach is planning demolitions this month for some of the downtown properties purchased last December.

City Council approved a $15 million purchase of four motels between Kings Highway and Ocean Boulevard near 7th Ave. N. in December, and the motels currently are vacant and mostly fenced off to guard against squatters.

“These properties have been a chronic source of issues for the police department, for code enforcement, so our folks are very excited to see these properties come down and prepare the land for its next use,” Assistant City Manager Brian Tucker said.

Greg, who didn’t give News13 his last name, lives across the street from the Oasis Motel, which is one of the properties now owned by the city. He’s lived there for five years.

“This was the wild west here,” Greg said. “Right here on this block. Right here in those buildings.”

He said that since the city took over the buildings and had people move out, things have been more peaceful.

“This is beautiful now,” Greg said. “I mean this is how the beach is supposed to be. We’ve got tourists walking by nowadays that would’ve never walked by in those days.”

On top of what city officials said was a high number of service calls for police, the city pointed to the state of disrepair at the motels as major reasons for the purchase.

“Nobody should be living in a property like this,” Myrtle Beach City Council Member Gregg Smith said.

City officials said crews are working on clearing the properties of asbestos to make way for demolitions. Brian Tucker, the assistant city manager, said demolitions at two of the properties should start this month in as soon as two weeks.

“We would love to shoot for early June for all four buildings to be completely down,” Tucker said. “That’s probably a little aggressive at this point.”

Once the buildings are all leveled, the city will open the properties up for private investment with the goal of revitalizing the downtown.

John Krajc, Myrtle Beach city council member, said he wants to see something that will have a lasting economic impact fill that space.

“Something great, something that is going to be a game-changer,” Krajc said. “This is a fantastic spot for an anchor for downtown, something innovative, something different.”

The Sea Nymph and Fountainbleu Inn are the first two motels slated for demolition, according to city officials.