Stop wasting everyone’s time

Why don't we just stop pretending that the citizens of Asheville have any say whatsoever in what happens here? City Council meetings that are supposed to encourage comment and input from citizens are a sham — a total waste of time, money and energy. The citizens did not want that monstrosity of a building at […]

It sure beats a hole in the ground

Now that the Council meeting drama is over and the McKibbon group won the right to build a hotel on the blighted property across the Basilica of St. Lawrence, I was left with the following observations. It is pretty obvious from the lack of attendance from the Kessler group that the Basilica had at best […]

Think smart

The area that sits in the foreground of the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center (the renamed Civic Center) offers a rare opportunity (see “City Will Bring Forward Offers on Haywood St. Properties in March,” Feb. 21, 2012 Xpress). Representing a unique civic/religious convergence in downtown Asheville, this urban canvas, which includes […]

Can the Basilica be trusted to build a park?

Over the past few months there have been several letters objecting to the proposed hotel on Haywood Street across from the Basilica. I wonder if anyone remembers the particularly awful building called the education annex that the church itself built right across the street in its direct sightline. When they tore it down, it did […]

Mind the crack!

Now that a crack has been discovered in the dome of St. Lawrence Basilica, we know that heavy construction in the area is likely to bring down the wonderful Guastavino tiles, and perhaps the dome with it. We don't need another hotel near one of Asheville's most famous attractions. City Council member Cecil Bothwell is […]

Don’t destroy what makes Asheville great

It seems the city of Asheville is determined to destroy what makes it great. By giving power to rich landowners in downtown to decide the fate of downtown instead of small-business owners who make Asheville a great destination. And now they would allow a large corporate hotel in our downtown right across the street from […]

City Council, what are you thinking?

It is hard to imagine that you are not awesomely happy with the proposal of St. Lawrence to buy the lot. Asheville is a tourist city. People don't visit cities to see hotels, they visit cities to see sights. Building a hotel where you could be enhancing the tourist attractiveness of Asheville is shortsighted and […]

Let us, the people, support a new park

Please have a park next to the Basilica of St. Lawrence. They have offered money for the lot. Let us, the people, support them even with our money, even with a small donation. We have enough hotels downtown. What we need is more green space with trees. — Harry and Genelda Woggon Asheville

Asheville needs this green space and the money

Goodness gracious, what a no brainer! And the diocese even offered $300,000 more for the parcel. The downtown area has only one small green space (Pritchard Park), which is severely overused. A landscaped green space in front of the U.S. Cellular Center and, of course, the treasured Basilica, is absolutely a no brainer. We the […]

Let’s learn from our mistakes

My daddy taught me to learn from my mistakes. Please remind City Council to learn from theirs. I am very unhappy about selling the property in [the area of] the U.S. Cellular Center, Basilica of St. Lawrence, Pack Library and Grove Arcade to McKibbon. Here are some examples Council can learn from. Staples: Council struggled […]

Downtown doesn’t need another hotel

Right now, Asheville city officials have on the table two bids to purchase the city-owned property on Haywood Street across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence. One bid is from McKibbon Hotel Group who wants to build a hotel at that site. The other bid is from the Catholic Church (Diocese of Charlotte) which hopes […]

City will bring forward hotel offer on Haywood St. properties in March-attachment0

City will bring forward hotel offer on Haywood St. properties in March

The city of Asheville will examine an offer from McKibbon hotel group for property near the Basilica of St. Lawrence, city staff said at a meeting of City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee today, and bring forward more information in March. However, Council members are far from set on the hotel plans: one called the city’s approach “testing the waters.” Photo by Bill Rhodes.

Green downtown Asheville

It has come to my attention that the McKibben Group is interested in purchasing several city-owned pieces of property around the Basilica of St. Lawrence in order to construct a high-rise hotel. The church itself has offered to purchase the property in order to avoid this construction, which is preferable to the alternative, but perhaps […]