Fraga to request continuance for Haywood Park project ****UPDATED****

Fraga to request continuance for Haywood Park project ****UPDATED****-attachment0

Developer Tony Fraga plans to ask Asheville City Council for a one-year continuance for a proposed hotel and condominium complex at the Battery Park/Haywood Street section of downtown.

The proposal initially appeared before Council on Sept. 23, but discussion revealed that most Council members considered the plan out of scale with the surrounding area. Rather than risk a negative vote by Council, Fraga opted to delay the hearing until Nov. 11 while he explored possible changes to the development.

But, according to an item on Tuesday’s City Council agenda, Fraga plans to ask for more time.

“It did not look like the project was going to get Council approval in its current configuration,” says Lou Bissette, attorney and representative for the project. Bissette said a major challenge in reworking the project is the underground parking garage, which depends on the hotel and condo projects above to balance out the development’s profit margin. He added that the current unstable economic environment is also cause for concern.

“Given the present economy, most developers are putting things on hold until they see how things are going to be next year,” Bissette says.

A continuance for the Haywood Park Project is contingent on the approval of Council.

***UPDATE***

On Nov. 11, Bissette told Council that Fraga is withdrawing the Haywood Park project, having come to the conclusion that he cannot restructure the buildings to meet Council’s concerns about scale.

“The city’s approval process has cost my client significant time, money and energy,” Bissette told Council, addding, “The city of Asheville makes it very difficult for developers to invest in our city.”

Instead, Bissette said, Fraga will focus his energy on refurbishing the Haywood Park Hotel and turn his attention to a mixed-use development at Wesgate Mall.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer

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9 thoughts on “Fraga to request continuance for Haywood Park project ****UPDATED****

  1. Austin

    I wish there were more Florida strip mall developers to help Fraga turn Asheville into lil’ Atlanta or miami, or ______________ (add your s%^%hole here).
    Developers destroy for profit. More tourist venues means less quality of life for the people already here. See ‘parasite’.

  2. um....

    i dunno if you’ve checked within the past 20 years or so, but tourism is kind of the backbone of our economy in asheville. remember when it was a ghost town? probably not. but i do. because i’m actually from here. and the town is growing whether you like it or not. the country is growing. the world population is growing. exponentially. would you rather have planned, sustainable, urban expansion, or rampant, haphazard, environmentally detrimental suburban sprawl? choose your destiny asheville. or don’t. just keep complaining any time anybody lays a brick in downtown asheville. smart.

  3. Reality Check

    Asheville City Council has ensured less development up town simply buy scaring off potential investors. Who would want to submit to them knowing all the time a blindside is imminent.

  4. LOKEL

    The folks in this town should be HAPPY that anyone wants to invest money here; in this economy, there are cities the size of Asheville, that are being boarded up and their governments’ are struggling to stay afloat.

  5. nuvue

    I think the economy will be the biggest “anti” developer there is. Who in their right mind would add more to an already bloated market? Fraga and everybody else better take another hard look at the numbers, it doesn’t seem it is condusive to build such a structure anytime soon.

  6. Austin

    Um,
    The problem I have is with massive, over sized developments. I don’t complain every time a brick is laid and I don’t know anyone who does. The fact that you are from here may give you some higher ground, but perhaps the fact that I came from an overpopulated, overdeveloped town kind of puts me in a position to speak from experience. Whatever.
    When the people of a town can no longer afford to live there because the business elite have created a boutique town, then their best interests have not been served. This is clearly what is happening here. This is the source of my ‘parasite’ comment. The leaders of Asheville would better serve this town if they were to continue to find other sources of revenue than tourism, which is already threatening to destroy the vistas and natural beauty.
    City Council has done a great job trying to keep things in check.

  7. Reality Check

    You can’t stop development. Um is right. Just do a decent job of managing it. The City Council certainly has some lessons to learn about managing relationships and controlling the pipeline. Things that are required to stay afloat in the ‘real world’.

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