David said Friday that four of the hotels had "rebranded," that another one is under new ownership and has been given extra time to improve and that the action taken against the Carolinian happened only after other options had been explored.
"We only seek to take property in extreme cases," David said, noting that one of the requirements for the Carolinian Inn to continue to operate would be to go a week without any criminal activity taking place at the establishment.
An attorney for the Carolinian Inn sent WECT a statement following David's news conference.
"We are disappointed by the filing of today’s lawsuit," Edwin L. West III said. "As with most things, there are many sides to this story. We have tried to explore a compromise and avoid litigation, and we still hope we can resolve this matter.
"That said, we do have concerns about the constitutionality of the statute under which the District Attorney’s office has chosen to proceed and yesterday commenced a separate action in Wake County challenging its validity."
The Ramada Inn on 5107 Market, the Budgetel Inn on 4903 Market, the Red Roof Inn on 5107 Market and the Red Carpet Inn (formerly Travelodge) on 4118 Market all took steps correct their problems and David said America's Best Value Inn is the one under new ownership.
Among the problems at these hotels were prostitution, assaults, fights, discharging of firearms and the illegal sale of controlled substances.
"The Carolinian Inn is a 'broken window' in the community, my office and the City are working together to try to solve this problem permanently," David said in a news release. "This action is a last resort for us. We hope to still reach an agreement with the owners, but if not, we will proceed with whatever steps are necessary and available to make Wilmington a safer place to live and visit."
According to the news release, the Wilmington Police Department has made numerous drug arrests at the Carolinian, and said that drug overdoses are a regular occurrence there.
"Citizens who live or work near this property say violent and disruptive incidents in the area are constant because of the criminal element at the Carolinian Inn," David said. "They don't feel safe, and they shouldn't have to tolerate that environment."
Other business people on Market Street said they were hopeful the area would improve after the motels were cleaned up.
“Absolutely, we feel better and more safe here," Mobile Zone manager Numan Alrosan said. "I guess less violence, and it gives us more relief in the area too.”
Alrosan said he thinks the crackdown by officers will improve business in the area.
"You have a more professional way to deal with your customers," he said. "Your own customers feel better."