The architectural team working on a proposed mixed-use redevelopment of a hotel site in downtown Asheville delivered an update on its design plans for the project during a Wednesday morning meeting.
The mixed-use development would add about 90 condos, 54 apartments, a 145-space parking deck, rooftop restaurant, retail space and an Earth Fare grocery store location to the Woodfin Street site that’s now home to the Four Points by Sheraton hotel. The mixed-use buildings would be built around the hotel, which will remain. The residential buildings would be 10 to 12 stories tall, and some would have green roofs.
The update was made to the Design Review Committee of the Asheville Downtown Commission. The members in attendance during the online meeting were: Stephen Lee Johnson, Robin Raines and Bryan Moffitt. Asheville city planners Sasha Vrtunski and Shannon Tuch were also in attendance.
Both the committee and the commission act in advisory roles. The committee advises development teams, while the commission advises Asheville City Council, which will have the final decision on whether to grant a conditional zoning required for the project to be built.
Wednesday was the MHAworks Architecture team’s second appearance before the Design Review Committee. In its first appearance before the committee last month, the team offered a rough outline.
Wednesday, team members Peter Alberice, Cyd Jaggers and Eric Powell said they’d added more detail regarding key design elements such as the building materials they plan to use. Those elements include masonry and metal panels for the skin of the buildings, as well as EFIS and some manufactured masonry. (EFIS stands for “exterior insulation and finish system,” and is a cladding system that provides exterior walls with an insulated, finished surface. The use of EFIS on some past downtown Asheville building projects has caused issues with the EFIS styrofoam-like shavings falling like snow onto streets and getting washed away with rain run-off.)
Other issues discussed Wednesday include: where ground-floor building space along Central Avenue could be activated to be more pedestrian-friendly; whether there’s enough on-site parking for all the proposed uses; and whether on-street parking could be added to the section of Woodfin Street that runs in front of the project site.
Formal building plans have not yet been submitted to city of Asheville planners. Once they are, the project will go before the full Downtown Commission for a vote, which serves as that body’s recommendation to City Council. It will proceed to the Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission for a vote, which is another recommendation to City Council. Then the project goes before City Council for a final decision.