McKibbon shares name, details for renovation of former BB&T building

Rendering of The Arras. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality

Press release from McKibbon Hospitality:

McKibbon Hospitality Unveils New Details for Arras Project

Project name, branding and design story for highly-anticipated downtown Asheville development announced

Asheville, N.C. (September 21, 2016) – McKibbon Hospitality today announced new details for the project under construction at the site of the former BB&T building in downtown Asheville including the project name, branding concepts and design story. The project, which has been named The Arras (Air • Ahs), is slated to open in 2018 and will include a 128-room boutique hotel, two independent restaurants that McKibbon will open in conjunction with local restaurateurs Peter and Martha Pollay, 54 condominiums on the upper levels of the building, retail space for lease and onsite parking.

McKibbon Hospitality is also pleased to announce that it will partner with general contractor Cleveland Construction on the project, who has worked on a number of projects throughout North Carolina and maintains an office in Charlotte. The Arras project is being co-developed by McKibbon Hospitality Chairman John McKibbon and Tower Associates Chairman and President Glenn W. Wilcox Sr. Wilcox occupied the building for more than 50 years and served as its owner, operator and leasing agent from 1988 through mid-2016 when project renovations began.

Rendering of The Arras. Photo courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality
Rendering of The Arras. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality

“We are excited to reveal new details to the Asheville community about the carefully-crafted urban concept we are developing in the heart of downtown,” said John McKibbon. “By collaborating with key local organizations and influencers, we have created a unique name and exciting brand that incorporates Asheville’s culture and celebrates the diverse community that makes Asheville such a special place to live, work and visit.”

McKibbon Hospitality collaborated with local brand experts, Tungsten Branding, and graphic design company, 7 Ton Design, to develop the project brand. This includes the name, Arras, which is defined as “a rich tapestry hung on the walls of a room” and is also a town in Northern France that is known for its woven tapestries. The Arras brand story emerges from the idea that every city has a history, a story and a colorful tale of interwoven threads. For Asheville, these threads weave a fabric of diverse culture, architecture and community that is enriched by extraordinary people who form a living tapestry. The name Arras reflects the aspirational nature of Asheville, weaving together a vision of imagination, inspiration and possibility. Just as skilled artisans throughout history have devoted time and attention into weaving majestic tapestries, McKibbon Hospitality remains committed to each detail of the Arras project, which when combined will create a true masterpiece that enriches the Asheville community.

Rendering of hotel room. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality
Rendering of hotel room. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality

The hotel’s interior design will be based on the idea of weaving people together from all walks of life. It will be strongly influenced by modern mountain design and include subtle Art Deco elements, which speak to Asheville’s history as well as the mountains and outdoors. Asheville’s diverse culture will be celebrated throughout the hotel with a curated collection of artwork from both seasoned and emerging local artists. The hotel lobby will be designed to serve as a gathering spot for locals and visitors to converge together.

The Arras will include two independent restaurants, and Peter and Martha Pollay, owners of Mandara Hospitality Group and Posana in downtown Asheville, will work with McKibbon Hospitality to develop and manage the concepts. Peter will serve as the executive chef for the new restaurants, with Martha serving as the creative director. As with Posana, The Arras restaurants will be committed to local sourcing and the use of seasonable, sustainable ingredients. Each restaurant will feature open spaces that promote social interaction and will serve as unique new options for locals and Asheville visitors to enjoy.

Rendering of condominium unit. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality
Rendering of condominium unit. Image courtesy of McKibbon Hospitality

“We are lucky to have assembled such a talented team to bring this project to life, and we plan to continue to keep the community at the center of everything we do,” said McKibbon. “As an example of our commitment, we are also pleased to announce that at the conclusion of this project, McKibbon Hospitality and 7 Ton Design will make a donation to Mountain Housing Opportunities in the amount of $6,000 to help support affordable housing for Asheville and Buncombe County residents.”

To learn more about McKibbon Hospitality, visit

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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One thought on “McKibbon shares name, details for renovation of former BB&T building

  1. bsummers

    According to the AC-T, the previous owner of the BB&T credits divine intervention in John McKibbon’s makeover plans:

    “Glenn Wilcox, Tower Associates chairman and president, who occupied the former BB&T building for more than 50 years and is a co-developer of The Arras, said he believed God specifically sent McKibbon to work with him.” (emphasis mine)

    I don’t know which is worse – that this gentleman actually said it out loud, or that the AC-T chose to print it.

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