Press release here:
McKibbon Hotel Group won’t develop the city-owned property on Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. MHG Vice President Wes Townson notified the city today of the company’s decision not to move forward on the Haywood Street project.
In a letter to Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson, Townson wrote, “Pursuant to Article B, Section 2, (a) of that certain Contract for Purchase and Sale of Real Property between the City of Asheville and McKibbon Hotel Group…we hereby terminate the Agreement.”
John McKibbon, chairman of McKibbon Hotel Group, explained his decision regarding the Haywood Street project: “We’re not going to develop the property on Haywood Street because of the lawsuit filed in March of this year by the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Asheville and the Indigo Hotel Asheville. We would have proceeded with the project had the lawsuit not been filed.
“I believe the lawsuit lacked factual and legal basis and amounted to contractual interference. However, knowing that the lawsuit could drag on for a year or more, we began to look for an alternative site. The delay also gave other developers an opportunity to get started on their projects before ours could begin.
“We have asked the hoteliers to reimburse us and the city for the legal fees we each accrued in dealing with the lawsuit, but they have refused to do so. We have also asked them for a letter explaining why they filed the lawsuit and have received no response. We will continue along these legal avenues independent of our decision regarding the Haywood Street property.”
In August 2013, the MHG-Tower partnership announced its intent to redevelop the BB&T properties in downtown Asheville. In addition to its interest in the BB&T properties, MHG has more than 75 hotel properties throughout the United States, including the Aloft Hotel Downtown, Courtyard by Marriott and Springhill Suites in Asheville. For more information, visit mckibbon.com.
Background here on the controversy surrounding the location, which is near the history Basilica of St. Lawrence in downtown.
I doubt green space will ever be a priority in such a small town surrounded by mountains.
Bingo. The “green space” mantra is just buzz for the anti-growth zealots.
“added supply would help”
Fortunately for you then, there are at least three new hotels planned for downtown, other than the basilica property, two of them within a couple of blocks.
We don’t need another hotel – we need to preserve some green space, otherwise future generations will go, “Why did these lunkheads build highrises on every square foot of downtown? If we wanted to hang out in a canyon, we would go to Charlotte or Atlanta.”
How much green space does downtown Asheville need?
Seriously, should every vacant building and lot be turned into green space?
Too bad. I’d like to see more development in the core. Downtown hotel prices are up considerably over thew last few years and added supply would help.
“added supply would help” … help what, room rates? … lol
that couldn’t be further from reality … room rates in AVL have continued to increase eventhough the number of rooms has practically exploded in the past few years …
Lol, as if rates wouldn’t have been higher yet, without the added supply. I assume you think the laws of supply and demand don’t apply to Asheville downtown hotels? Did gravity get a waiver also?
How is that a “comment” – simply restating the content of the article?
How is having a condemned building and weird, useless 20-spot, paid parking lot across the street from the basilica better than that hotel? As far as i’m concerned, the more they build in downtown the better!