Asheville developer Stewart Coleman’s proposal to demolish the Hayes & Hopson Building is making its way through the city’s approval process, and Coleman says the 1905 structure could be torn down before the lawsuit that’s tying up his development proposal for the site is resolved.
“We are trying to get our ducks in a row so that when the lawsuit is overturned — and it will be — we can get to work,” he told Xpress. “Demolition of that building is something that could happen before the hearing of that lawsuit.”
The red-brick building stands on one of the parcels where Coleman intends to construct the nine-story Parkside condominium tower. A small adjoining parcel — formerly part of Pack Square Park — is home to a magnolia tree that was the focus of several demonstrations and a round-the-clock watch by activists this summer.
The city’s Downtown Commission will review the demolition application on Dec. 12, but it is merely a formality. The commission’s approval is not required. Meanwhile, the city’s Planning and Development Department has already signed off on the demolition, stating in its report that “there does not appear to be a valid rationale in the UDO to disapprove this request.”
A previous demolition plan was included as part of the original Parkside project, which the city’s Technical Review Committee approved earlier this year. But that application is currently tied up due to an Aug. 28 Superior Court ruling (now being appealed) that Buncombe County’s sale of the parkland to Coleman was illegal, and to unresolved issues concerning an access road for the condos.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer