First look at proposed Embassy Suites, another new downtown Asheville

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s a first look at plans submitted for yet another downtown Asheville hotel, an Embassy Suites hotel. The location is 202 Haywood St., the former location of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department. It is also directly across the street from the new Hyatt Place hotel, which just opened this spring (on the former Three Brothers Restaurant site at the corner of Haywood Street and Montford Avenue.)

Buncombe County commissioners last year agreed to sell the former Sheriff’s Department building (which was the location for PSNC as I recall before that) to PHG Asheville LLC for $4.4 million. That company is the same Parks Hospitality Group that just built the Hyatt Place. The company didn’t expressly state at the time that it was planning to build a second hotel on the lot, which is just across North French Broad Avenue from a Salvation Army halfway house.

An aside: Some folks may remember that the halfway house was where disgraced former televangelist Jim Bakker spent time in the mid-1990s after being released from federal prison.)

The new Hyatt Place has added 140 rooms to visitors looking to stay in downtown Asheville. The hotel also touts meeting space, an indoor pool and gym, and a rooftop bar dubbed The Montford, which has not yet officially opened.

I don’t have any details on plans for the size of the proposed Embassy Suites. More as I get it.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. No Mam July 25, 2016

    Yes, I work in the real estate industry and most of the homes being purchased are second homes, not first-time homebuyers. They can pay top dollar, drive up the prices, have bidding wars, so none of the locals will ever be able to afford a home again. Thanks Asheville tourism for bringing more crime, more anger, overpopulation, and poverty. We will see how it evolves, I’m sure it will not positive.

    1. Cas Childs August 8, 2016

      If you work in real estate, you are in the wrong business. Sounds like you detest your clients. Yes, after 20 years in my first home I’m buying a second home. And yes, it’s going to be more expensive than what I paid for my first home. So the logical conclusion is that “none of the locals will ever be able to afford a home again”? And what do you mean “again”? They can’t afford their second home?

  2. Big Al July 24, 2016

    I would gladly trade an Atlanta “Ken and Bootsie” for every pair of whining, tatted up, dope-smoking, wannabe-artist hipsters currently squatting in Asheville.

    1. chris July 24, 2016

      Greenville’s just an hour away, Al.

      1. Big Al July 25, 2016

        I do not need to move. Unlike the hippie/hipster contingent, I have a real job and don’t need to beg for handouts, either from tourists on Biltmore Ave. or the city clown-cil.

        1. hauntedheadnc July 25, 2016

          And you’re certain that the wages you make in that real job will keep pace with the rising cost of living here as Thad and Bootsie snatch up all the houses?

          How nice for you to have such certainty in life!

          1. Big Al July 25, 2016

            My certainty was not luck. I researched the job and housing situation before moving here. I did not come for the “vibe”, the beer or the music scene, then discover that none of it was free, or that I would be sharing a trailer in Leicester with ten others, or that the best job I could find was waiting tables. Therefore, I have no need to whine about how OTHERS should pay my way by GIVING me the wage I DEMAND, or to take days off from work to join protests for it.

            Like the old saying goes, “get a haircut and get a job, dirty hippie”.

            And get them somewhere else.

        2. chris July 25, 2016

          Are you sure your name is Al, and not Fisher Caudle? You seem just as unhinged.

      2. hauntedheadnc July 25, 2016

        He won’t find much relief in Greenville. Considering that housing costs so much less down there and jobs pay so much more, a lot of the granola-oriented hippie types from Asheville are finding their way down there and to Spartanburg as well when they realize that putting up with Asheville’s bs just isn’t worth the struggle anymore.

    2. hauntedheadnc July 24, 2016

      The name is “Thad,” thank you very much. Thad and Bootsie. You’ve obviously confused those scions of the upper crust with those nouveau riche Kenneth and Barbara. No one talks to them anymore, not after the “incident.”

      And just let me tell you what Felix and Marsha found out this morning at the country club! Why, it was…

  3. indie July 24, 2016

    Downtown Asheville has fewer downtown hotel rooms than it did 100 years ago.

    Prices for next weekend are $2-300 per night.

    More supply please.

    1. luther blissett July 25, 2016

      100 years ago, the Beaucatcher tunnel didn’t exist, let alone the cut through the mountain. Asheville was downtown. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of hotels on Tunnel Road, and prices there for next weekend are a lot closer to $100 per night.

      Add supply, yes, but slap up enough “Charlotte Boring” cookie-cutter buildings downtown and eventually it’s going to look like… Charlotte. I’m also not convinced that the Econ 101 version of supply/demand rules strictly apply here: there are price points for downtown hotels that aren’t going to be easily breached, because doing so dilutes the specific identity of each sub-brand.

      (I’m fine with the Element because it’s extended stay in an area surrounded by terrible office buildings which could benefit from infill development.)

      1. indie July 25, 2016

        Supply and demand always applies.

        And thanks for the micro-geography lesson on Tunnel road hotels. Obviously, they compete at some level with downtown hotels, but for many folks they aren’t in the consideration set. People want to be in with the action. Some will drive drunk, use Uber or a cab. others won’t.

        I’m glad to see real downtown supply.

        1. luther blissett July 26, 2016

          Supply and demand applies in the hotel sector, but it’s highly tiered: adding more Embassy Suites doesn’t necessarily change the demand for Hampton Inns.

          On that point: one of the newest Hilton brands is called ‘Tru’, and it’s explicitly aimed at Millennials (bear with me on this, I hate the term too) by having, in essence, an AirBnB feel within a hotel. It’s also focused on repurposing existing buildings because apparently what Millennials like is the sheen of authenticity, i.e. not staying in cookie-cutter hotels that could be anywhere in the world.

          Maybe the boutiquey look of the AC Parking Garage or the faux-deco cladding of the BB&T will satisfy that desire. And to be fair, both of those terrible designs now look good compared to this anodyne CAD template. Perhaps that’s the grand scheme: keep slapping up increasingly fugly hotels until the Aloft finally looks good by comparison.

          1. indie July 28, 2016

            You underestimate the porousness of what you call tiering. Brands are greater or lesser substitutes for one another based on their characteristics and price points, but there is huge bleed between brands.

            And Embassy Suites and hamptons are strong substitutes.

    2. Matt McClure July 25, 2016

      Indie, you’ve shared that bit of trivia a few times over the past couple years. Where are you getting it from? Im not so sure it’s accurate.

  4. luther blissett July 24, 2016

    Shall we start the clock on when the developers say that the Salvation Army shelter will scare the clientele, just like the humanitarians who complained about the bus transfer station and wanted the HHS office moved out to Swannanoa, then pulled out of their hotel project when the county said no?

    1. Nate July 28, 2016

      I’ve been saying this same thing since they started working on the Hyatt across the street. Hasn’t happened yet, somehow!

  5. Helen July 23, 2016

    What just great news. Wow so excited, another hotel, how different and unusual. Hauntedheadnc you really hit the nail on the head. I was behind someone yesterday that said only $699,000 that is so reasonable.

  6. Barry Summers July 23, 2016

    Thank the Gods. We haven’t had a new hotel announced in almost 24 hours. Time to ramp up tourism advertising again. Gotta keep those rooms filled…

    Whoops! Even with bonuses and profit-sharing, nobody working for the TDA can even afford to live here anymore. Hey – we’ll farm out the tourism promotion to a company in, oh, I don’t know… Atlanta!

  7. hauntedheadnc July 23, 2016

    I would feel a hell of a lot better about all these new hotels if their expected clientele was going to be the business crowd in town to sign papers, make deals, and keep a passel of high-paying jobs here humming.

    But no. The expected clientele is going to be swarms of mummified and botoxed Atlanta and Charlotte housewives (most of them named Bootsie, or some variation thereof) clutching their husbands’ arms and saying, “Oh Thad, that little bungalow is just *darling* and we absolutely *must* have it for a summer home! It’s so cheap too, a mere $700,000! Oh darling, buy it right now!”


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