The proposed Vandre Nouveau Hotel in downtown Asheville got another thumbs up from an Asheville advisory committee on Friday. The Asheville Downtown Commission voted unanimously to approve the renovation of the BB&T office building to create the boutique hotel, as well as new condos, office and restaurant space, reported Chairman Adrian Vassallo via a morning Facebook post. (Vassallo also shared the above photo; it shows a model of what the renovated office building will look like.)
Last week, the project met early approval from the Asheville Technical Review Committee. The next stop is a Nov. 19 reviewbyt the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission. Asheville City Council will give its final review during a planned December meeting.
The BB&T building is the city’s tallest, and the massive renovation job will will require the removal of the entire shell of the building. The renovation of some 200,868 square feet of space will create 133 hotel rooms and 39 residential condos; two new restaurants; retail and office space. (One of the restaurants will be tied to the hotel, and the other will be a separate, private restaurant.) A new three-level parking deck will be built on the space adjacent to the building that is now a surface parking lot.
I see this an opportunity to speak towards a better design. Don’t get me wrong, it is a pretty rendering and all but not a good structure for Asheville. I think this design could use some rethinking and some more love. The only things I personally like about the design are the bottom floors and its art deco look and the plaza. As far as the glass…eww, I am an architect and that color of glass cladding and that ugly roof line does not impress me. What needs to happen is a lighter and clearer glass with less of a blue tint and a slight tapering roof line to mimic the shape of the surrounding mountains. Oh and not to kill the vibe or anything but honestly…do you really need a freaking condominium complex inside this building?…Higher rent is imminent. Asheville is a beautiful city…don’t fuck it up with that glass and roof line.
The new design is as ugly as it’s name. Please do not renovate it like this.
“WOW, think of the money this will bring to Asheville, and don’t forget the employment while under renovation and afterwards. Outstanding for our economy.”
You must not be from here.
(by that I mean born and raised in WNC)
Wow. Asheville really cannot handle more tourists.
I see this summer after summer. At least in the winter months people go away.
Asheville cannot expand. We are full. It just makes it more and more awful for people living here already.
Plus hotels like this pay employees very little.
Most will make 8.50 to 10.00 an hour as they do already, and never get raises.
When it opens let us see how much a front desk person makes.
Does being from a place make someone some sort of sage on said place? I’m so tired of this trite little trope…. I’ve lived here 17 years, so does that make me something special? Or did I have to well out of my mom’s hoo-haa within the city limits in order to have any say-so?
Appears to be a huge aesthetic improvement over the current structure.
Each to their own, but based on that model I’d take the current B&BT over that fugly mess. Once again, it’s a parking deck with stuff slapped on top, because that’s the only thing McKibbon does.
At this point I would take any improvement at all over the current iteration. Put some retail on the ground level of the parking deck at the Lexington/College and Lexington/Patton corners. Something, anything!
But even given that, this plan is a severe disappointment. It feels like a copy of the Hotel Indigo in every possible way. The Indigo has plenty of shortcomings as far as its design is concerned. However, the Indigo somewhat forgivable due to its location on on the far periphery of downtown, bordering a freeway.
The BB&T building is the most prominent building in the city, standing out on top of a hill, facing the city’s most important public space, directly opposite the city’s very symbol (City Hall) which also happens to be one of the most celebrated works of architecture in the entire southeastern US. All fo this means we can and should expect a design that can be a point of civic pride, or at least something OKish, not this horrible pastiche of crap-ola from both a design and site layout perspective.
Surely, Hopefully, somebody on council can see this. There must be something in the zoning code or downtown plan or anything, that will allow them to send the developer back to the drawing board.
I agree, I like the direction they are going with an Art Deco inspired architecture (if you look at the drawing you can also see some nice design maybe tile work down near street level). I don’t think you can compare it design wise to the Indigo at all with its modern styled mess. We will loose an ugly though nastalgic building but I think this is a vast improvement.
WOW, think of the money this will bring to Asheville, and don’t forget the employment while under renovation and afterwards. Outstanding for our economy.
And for those haters out there, you can always move to Rosman, NC if you hate change, employment or both. LOL
So that means in 2016, it will be just as hard or harder to get a guy to come do some minor residential renovations as it has been this year.
I know 4 people (incl me) who can hardly get someone to come looks at the job(s). Then some will but don’t ultimately provide a quote OR the quote is HUGE.
I can’t say I blame them tho; you have to strike while the iron is hot!
Remember it’s the Hotel Luther Vandross.