WEST HEMPSTEAD - A notorious, crime-plagued hotel in West Hempstead was demolished today after a decade of community protests and legal battles.

It took only seconds for heavy machinery to tear down the Courtesy Hotel, which has been the scene of rapes, drug deals, prostitution and countless police calls.

"I'm feeling exhilarated at the thought that this is coming down," says Rosalie Norton, of the West Hempstead Civic Association.

Developers plan to replace the hotel with a four-story, 150-unit rental complex in a first of its kind transit-oriented housing zone on Long Island, since the parcel of land is located steps away from the Long Island Rail Road station.

"We want our young people to have a place where they don't have to use a car," says Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

Town officials hope that building the apartment complex will convince the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reconsider its decision to suspend weekend service to West Hempstead.To watch the demolition of the hotel, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.