Chelators have the potential to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but their therapeutic use is hampered by their poor targeting and poor permeability to the brain and/or toxic effects. Here, we report a new strategy for designing site-activated chelators targeting both acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO). We demonstrated that our lead 2 inhibited both AChE and MAO in vitro, but with little affinity for metal (Fe, Cu, and Zn) ions. Compound 2 can be activated by inhibition of AChE to release an active chelator M30. M30 has been shown to be able to modulate amyloid precursor protein regulation and beta-amyloid reduction, suppress oxidative stress, and passivate excess metal ions (Fe, Cu, and Zn). Compound 2 was less cytotoxic and more lipophilic than the brain-permeable chelator M30. Our new strategy is relatively simple and generally produces small and simple molecules with drug-like properties; it thus holds a potential use in designing site-activated multifunctional chelators with safer and more efficacious properties for treating other metal-related diseases such as Parkinson's disease and cancer where specific elimination of metals in cancer cells is required.