Tony Fraga, developer of Main Street at Biltmore Lake, has purchased the Haywood Park Hotel, the Starnes Building, the Haywood Atrium and the associated parking deck from Joe Kimmel for $18.5 million. Fraga said that the Haywood Park properties would be the geographic and figurative centerpiece of his development efforts in Asheville.
In a press release about the sale, Kimmel said, “When I purchased the Haywood Park property from Robert Armstrong, I had my own dreams for the future of downtown and I wanted to make Robert proud; he was a pioneer of downtown rebirth and development. Unfortunately, I was unable to realize those dreams on my own, so I set out to find someone who would deliver the kind of project I believe Asheville needs. Tony Fraga is that man.”
Alex Fraga, vice president of FIRC Group and FIRC Haywood Park, discussed the projects he and his father will be undertaking: “We have three projects in the works for Asheville. … Main Street at Biltmore Lake, the new West Gate and Haywood Park. Each project is different, but our goals for all three are the same[:] … community enrichment, job creation and business development. We want to help make Asheville a better place to live, work and do business.”
Kimmel purchased the Haywood Park Hotel, Starnes building, Haywood Atrium and the parking areas from Armstrong in 2005 and added 35 Battery Park in the fall of 2006. Kimmel, who owns property adjoining the Haywood Park site, said he hopes to partner with the Fragas as their plans to develop the site progress. Tony Fraga said that as soon as his plans for development of Haywood Park have taken shape, he will make them public.
In the accompanying illustration, the turquoise buildings were sold to Fraga, and the purple and yellow buildings remain the property of Kimmel Development Group.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer