Two 15-story motel towers planned for Patton Avenue in downtown Asheville


There are early design plans calling for two 15-story motel towers on Patton Avenue, according to planning documents. That’s right – two 15-story motel towers. The property is located at 188 Patton Ave., which is the property that is now home to a former Merita bread warehouse. These are preliminary plans, and anything can happen. We’ll just have to keep an eye on the project.

Asheville in the midst of a hotel construction boom. Here’s where things stand right now:


-Corner of Broadway and College Street: An aging parking deck has been demolished and the site is being prepped for the construction of a new 120-room AC Hotel by developer John McKibbon.

-Corner of College Street and South Charlotte Street: This complex includes a new Hilton Garden hotel, as well as parking deck and office building.

-Corner of Montford Avenue and Haywood Street: This Hyatt Place hotel will likely be the first of the new wave of hotels to open. It will bring a 140-room hotel with a pool and rooftop bar to the former location of the old Three Brothers Restaurant.


-Just south of downtown, a new Holiday Inn is under construction at the former location of Howard Johnson’s near Biltmore Village.

-Also near Biltmore Village, there’s a new hotel under construction on the Biltmore Estate property. The schedule is for it to open in November.

-There’s a hotel under construction at Westgate Shopping Center just west of downtown. It’s going to be a 94-room Country Inn & Suites.


These projects are in various stages of planning, with no construction underway just yet:

-A plan to turn the BB&T building into a luxury hotel and condo complex. That project is not yet under construction.

-A plan to build a 136-room Cambria Suites on Page Avenue, across the street from the Grove Arcade.

-A plan to build a Town Place Suites on Elm Street, just off Merrimon Avenue and just north of the central business district.

-A plan to build a 90-room boutique hotel called the Foundry Inn on Market Street in downtown Asheville.


Constance May 20, 2015 - 3:54 pm

I am in favor of using some of these properties for mod apartments or, condos w studios and even some w 4bed 3bath. Let there be apartment where middle class Ashevillions can be comfortable with shared garden really suplimenting food cost
Only one more thought,let there be a club center so residents can have open or closed gatherings like parties, book club, or live music

Barry May 18, 2015 - 9:37 pm

Are you looking at something new Jason? The planning docs you are talking about are from about a year ago. I don’t think there’s been any new action on this since then.

Santa May 18, 2015 - 8:34 pm

Leading with the term “motel” vs. “hotel” is to disarm you of any expectations regarding aesthetics. Examine the large list of Patel’s motel properties around Asheville and imagine them all stacked in two large towers at the entrance of downtown.

The best we can hope for is that the first 6 floors of each are parking decks.

Zac Malin May 18, 2015 - 5:29 pm

So when is Asheville/Buncombe county going to implement a bed tax so we can all benefit from the tourist boom?

murphy May 18, 2015 - 7:08 pm

We already have an occupancy tax (4%) and any increase (and/or change) in it or how it is spent is at the benevolence of the NCGA in Raleigh… so don’t bet on any changes that would more greatly benefit the City.

Roger McCredie May 18, 2015 - 8:17 pm

The more relevant question might be, what percentage of those new beds will be occupied at any given time? The city reached critical mass on hotel construction sometime back, but the if-we-build-it-they-will-come mindset persists, as it did 90 yars ago. Those who don’t learn from history …

Kelly May 19, 2015 - 11:54 am

In winter beds are empty. Empty spaces with low paying jobs.

Diane Curry May 18, 2015 - 5:16 pm

So the excess of in-progress and planned hotels is probably the REAL driver behind the plans to continue disallowing Short Term Rentals. Seems to me that maybe somebody agreed to get rid of STRs as an incentive to all those who will benefit from this hotel boom. Hotels affect neighborhoods too, and clog traffic and suck resources in a much greater density than a few houses on each block doing short term rentals. Short-sighted is what our fab mountain town is becoming…

Barry Summers May 18, 2015 - 4:35 pm

This is good news, but we have a long way to go, people. I mean just look at all the property downtown that’s NOT hotels. If we’re going to be the top tourist destination for looking at other tourists, we have to step it up.

FranknBeans May 18, 2015 - 3:09 pm

Those towers should provide plenty of shade for all the people hanging outside the shelter on a hot summer day.

FDR May 18, 2015 - 5:31 pm

Well said, and another issue that Asheville has to deal with. Transients rolling through Asheville taking the beds away from the actual homeless.

plastic paddy May 18, 2015 - 1:11 pm

It does say motel but surely they mean hotel…

hauntedheadnc May 18, 2015 - 3:02 pm

Nonsense. All you need to do is picture the Mountaineer turned on end to get an idea of what’s planned for the site in question.

SocialLife May 18, 2015 - 1:00 pm

It’s quite obvious it is a huge demand for hotels. As a person from Asheville and moved away, I’m glad more life is coming to the city. Ashevillians are gonna have to get over it, get with the plan or move. Asheville has been discovered by “the outsiders” and they love it just as much as the folks who stay there. (reason why the hotels are being built)I’m glad to see more jobs being created. My only complaint is that they need to pay a living wage. I guess something is better than nothing.

luther blissett May 20, 2015 - 1:42 pm

“It’s quite obvious it is a huge demand for hotels.”

Not exactly obvious. Property developers are like sheep: there’s safety in numbers. If you build what everyone else is building, then you don’t look as stupid when the bubble bursts.

There was a piece in a trade magazine last year listing Asheville as a city that needed some more hotels, and so it’s getting lots and lots and lots of hotels. On the timescales that construction uses, there’ll be projects underway well past the point where the market’s saturated. That’ll be the point where the property developers get into hotel-to-office/retail conversions.

Helen May 18, 2015 - 12:32 pm

15 stories, that is completely insane, I thought there was a limit to building heights.

hauntedheadnc May 18, 2015 - 3:03 pm

There is a limit to building heights in downtown Asheville, and if I remember correctly, it’s about eighteen stories.

weavervilleman July 22, 2015 - 9:58 pm

It is 18 story tall MAX!

elza May 18, 2015 - 12:19 pm

I don’t think we need any more hotels. Has anyone checked into the average occupancy of the ones we already have. My guess is they are never full. Why can’t some of these places be made available for housing of the average person living here not someone who comes to visit. I live in a new neighborhood about 3-4 years old. It is very modest & not one of the super expensive areas. Several of the homes are owned by people from out of town. Their yards are the ones the yard maintenance is not done & several have already put their homes up for sale. To me it would appear they were purchased/built because of a “whim” on a visit. Why do we keep catering to people who have no love for the area or mountains. Yes, I was not born here but I choose to live here & call it home. Moved away one time but have been back for years.

murphy May 18, 2015 - 1:18 pm

I believe it has been stated before here that the average occupancy rate of existing lodging in AVL is around 80%… on average…. that’s pretty high.

cowpoke May 18, 2015 - 7:58 pm

Occupancy rates are real sketchy in the hotel industry. Where are your numbers from? They are from the Chamber! Question the source.

hauntedheadnc May 18, 2015 - 3:10 pm

On most weekends in the season, which runs from May to November, you cannot find a hotel room anywhere between Spartanburg and the Sevierville-Gatlinburg area. I work at a hotel and I’ve seen weekends when there was nothing to be found between Columbia and Knoxville. I’m as sick as anyone of the hotel fad, but for at least half the year, I can assure you they’ll be full.

My concern is that what scarce and precious center-city land remains is being squandered on hotels and nothing but hotels. Downtown needs more housing, more retail spaces, and more office and light industrial space. Too much of anything makes the district, and therefore the city, top heavy. Top heavy places are the first to topple in any economic storm, and I worry we’re setting ourselves up for failure. But… on the bright side, hotels can easily be converted into affordable housing if need be. We’ve seen it already with all those grand highrise hotels left over from our 1920’s boom.

HillbillyHippie May 18, 2015 - 10:33 pm

You’re right, they can be turned into housing! The Battery Park Hotel is now operated by the Asheville Housing Authority and offers nice housing to senior citizens. Which hotel from this boom will be the first one to become subsidized housing?

orulz May 20, 2015 - 10:30 am

Not to mention the Vanderbilt and the Asheville-Biltmore, both of which were converted to senior housing in the 1970s. There is also the Interstate Motel, which was converted to condos about 10 years ago. Then there is the Glen Rock Hotel, which was recently converted to affordable apartments by Mountain Housing Opportunities.

Jamal May 19, 2015 - 9:45 am

Yes – the occupancy rate is well published and hit a record high this past fall. There is a need for more hotel rooms. The Aloft occasionally hits $350 a night. However, currently, there is not a need for this many hotel rooms. We will be well over saturated if all these come to fruition (which they won’t). It may be 20 years from now, but this city will continue to grow until Patton ave down to Clingman, and the entire River Arts District is bustling with breweries, hotels, farms to tables, yoga studios and doggie bakeries. I believe this glut of hotels will eventually be needed.

To answer your question as to “why can’t some of these places be made available for housing of the average person:” capitalism. If you have 10 hotel rooms that you rent for $125 a night and they are all full 15 nights a month, that equals $18,750. If those 10 rooms are instead 5 two bedroom apartments that you rent for $1000 a month, that equals $5,000.

FDR May 18, 2015 - 12:03 pm

Jason, have you researched all the hotel building on or right off, Airport Road? Several are either going up or in the early planning stages. At least in downtown the city gets parking garages with the hotels which is a win/win for Asheville.

Jason Sandford May 18, 2015 - 12:33 pm

I haven’t, FDR, but I’ll take a closer look now that you mention it.

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