Hotelier John McKibbon placed a big bet on the future of downtown Asheville yesterday with the McKibbon Hotel Group’s purchase of the BB&T building for a cool $7.5 million. Paperwork at the Buncombe County Register of Deeds office confirms the sale. McKibbon is owner of the company.
Back in August, McKibbon and Glenn W. Wilcox Sr. of Tower Associates Inc., the owner of the BB&T building, announced a partnership to redevelop the city’s tallest building. The 17-story structure would be converted from commercial office space to a mixed-use development that will include an upscale boutique hotel. More from that announcement:
Properties included in the new partnership, MHG-Tower LLC, include the 17-story BB&T Building and the associated parking garage at the corner of College and Broadway streets. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
Glenn W. Wilcox Sr.’s company Wilcox Travel was one of the first tenants when the building opened in 1965 as the Northwestern Bank Building, and Wilcox has been in the building continually for 48 years.
“I moved to Asheville from Boone in September 1965, the same month that what is now the BB&T Building opened. I’m pleased to be partnering with John McKibbon on this exciting project. I have great respect for John and am looking forward to working with a man of such proven integrity,” Wilcox said.
“I‘m honored and pleased to have the opportunity to redevelop downtown Asheville’s iconic high-rise, and partnering with the Wilcox family makes it all the more special. We have enjoyed building and managing hotels in Asheville for nearly 20 years, and we look forward to starting our next project in this landmark location,” McKibbon said.
MHG-Tower LLC will be working with the City of Asheville on the planning and approval process. More details on the project will be released as they become available.
McKibbon opened his Aloft Hotel on Biltmore Avenue in August of last year. He also purchased property at the corner of Haywood Street across from the U.S. Cellular Center and announced plans to build another hotel there. McKibbon has talked up his love of Asheville for the past few years, and it’s clear that he’s banking on the town’s success. Big changes ahead for the mountain metropolis, folks.