185-room downtown Embassy Suites hotel on Jan. 10 Council agenda

Embassy Suites Hotel on Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Rendering provided by Parks Hospitality Group

Almost exactly one year after Asheville City Council approved a zoning request to allow the McKibbon Hotel Group to redevelop the former BB&T building as a hotel and condominiums, another big downtown hotel project is poised to come before Council.

At the body’s Jan. 10 meeting, Parks Hospitality Group of Raleigh will seek approval of its 185-room project at 192 Haywood St. on the former site of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office. The proposed development also includes a 200-car parking structure.

The city’s Downtown Commission, Planning & Zoning Commission and Technical Review Committee have all reviewed the project. On Oct. 14, the Downtown Commission voted to recommend that Council deny the project. The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval at its Dec. 7 meeting, and also approved two variances for the project. City Council’s review will be conducted as a quasi-judicial proceeding, with those wishing to testify required to give their input under oath. Council must base its decision on whether the project meets seven legal standards.


  • 2017 as “Land of the Sky Association of REALTORS Year”
  • Jan. 14-16 as “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Days”

Consent agenda

Council will vote on accepting a $90,000 grant from the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund to support a storm water management device on the French Broad River Greenway West Bank and design for a Restorative Landscape Plan for the River Arts District Transportation Project (RADTIP) area. A $700,000 roof repair contract for a city-owned building on Bingham Road, a $500,000 water infrastructure project serving large customer connections and an application for a $100,000 DWI Task Force grant are also included within the consent agenda.

Presentations and reports

Council will hear a report from the Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program. No further information on this report was included in Council’s meeting agenda.

Public hearings

The owner of a 4.8 acre parcel at 12 Loop Road close to the Asheville Airport has requested a voluntary annexation of the property into the city limits. The parcel is contiguous to property within the city of Asheville. According to a staff memo, “There is a commercial retail project proposed for this property which, if developed as currently proposed, would generate approximately $20,000-25,000 in city property tax based on comparable commercial properties in the city.”

Additionally, Council will hear public comment on rezoning 12 Loop Road and adjacent parcels to allow for the development of 80,000 square feet of commercial retail space and related parking. In a staff memo, Todd Okolichany, the city’s planning director, cites concerns about the proposed landscape plan. The city’s Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request on Nov. 2, contingent on the applicant’s adding more and larger trees to the project landscape plan.

Finally, Council will consider the conditional rezoning request of a new 185-room hotel at 192 Haywood Road. While Council voted at its Sept. 27 meeting to begin the process of revising the rules that govern the size and types of projects Council reviews, as well as the nature of Council’s review, those changes are still making their way through the process. This project is being reviewed under the existing ordinances. At over 175,000 square feet, this project is a Level III project that requires a Conditional Use Permit review. The CUP process requires Council to refrain from any communication with the developers prior to the Council hearing and to make its decision based on the project’s compliance with seven standards.

Should the new regulations discussed in September be approved, all but the smallest hotel projects and any project over 100,000 square feet will be reviewed by Council. In addition, Council will consider those projects under a conditional zoning process that allows communication between the Council and developers outside of the public hearing. The CZ process also gives Council greater discretion in approving or denying an application based on a wider range of considerations than the CUP process allows.

New business

Council will consider “whether to have staff develop an outreach plan to determine the level of interest of the community on potential re-districting.”

Appointments to city boards and commissions could also be made or a short-list of candidates to interview could be determined. Municipal bodies with openings requiring new appointments include:

  • Board of Adjustment
  • Board of Electrical Examiners
  • Firemen’s Relief Fund
  • Historical Resources Commission
  • Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Riverfront Redevelopment Commission
  • Soil Erosion/Stormwater Review Committee
  • Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment
  • Tree Commission


City Council will meet at 5 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of Asheville City Hall. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

16 thoughts on “185-room downtown Embassy Suites hotel on Jan. 10 Council agenda

  1. boatrocker

    My favorite things to point out on the Mtn X site for pics:

    -All proposed hotels with exaggerated foreshortening resemble that Grand Theft Auto video game for graphics and never contain any obnoxious tourists, panhandlers, etc like Asheville after a zombie apocalypse.

    – Every time there is a storyteller featured with a picture, he/she is doing ‘jazz hands’.

    – Every time a dingbat psuedo science article dealing with woo woo new age ‘medicine’ is featured, a picture of a woman wearing overpriced North Face clothing in nature is shown lifting her arms with eyes closed like the Tim Robbin’s escape from prison scene from the Shawshank Redemption.

    -Nobody ever smiled in any pics during Thomas Wolfe’s era in Asheville for all the historical pieces featured.

    -If a band has as its promo picture them on railroad tracks or captured jumping in mid air, I’m probably not going to go hear them perform.

    Deep thoughts on a snowy weekend.

  2. Deplorable Infidel

    hmm, wonder how many of the hotel rooms will have to become ‘affordable’ for those less able to enjoy AVL ?

      • Lulz

        LOL and yet you assume someone that runs as a democrat will look after affordability? How so? Raising taxes and promoting phony bond issues? Did you read the article about the bonds? Anyone with half a brain knows it’s a scam. A crony capitalism scam. Taxpayers in Asheville not only get to pay so more people can clog the roads, we all get to pay for county schools that no one in the city USES. It’s unreal that people are paying money to finance not actual services that benefit them, but merely costs associated with the administration of government and those well connected to get jobs in it. Or those that have influence to direct money to areas of the city that benefit them exclusively ala the RAD.

  3. Oh, for Pete’s sake…..another damn hotel? Please, no more! What the hell are they thinking to accept YET ANOTHER oversized monstrosity of a hotel, further clogging downtown! We are saturated with current hotel projects, future hotel projects, and proposed hotel projects. Yeah, I know…we’re a “tourist town.” But do they have to shove it down our throats so much? Surely we can do something else, like…I don’t know….work on creating actual jobs with futures for our young people? Too much?

    • Lulz

      LOL, you mean run the pyramid scheme of government? But let me guess, you had signs in your yard supporting the bonds lulz. People who can actually make money do so in SPITE of government. Not because of it. Yet many here who have the connections are do the exact opposite.

    • The Real World

      It is city council that is dumping the AVL market with too many short-term rentals. If they vote affirmative for that new hotel, THEY are saturating this market with too much supply, more 240 and downtown traffic, all while prohibiting property owners from utilizing their properties in a personal beneficial manner as short-term rentals AND disallowing a different, unique option for visitors.

      You see, folks? It does not matter what political party is running things, it’s all about the money!

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        But once the money fails those high rises eventually will become cheap housing for the poor.

    • Lulz

      LOL, why the complaints lulz? Afterall, these people are that have been voted in for decades now are creating the problem and then passing on higher taxes and fees to “solve” it. Never mind that loons will gladly kick you out of your house if you can’t afford it.

  4. BMacAVL

    “an application for a $100,000 DWI Task Force grant are also included within the consent agenda.” Really…what to they need $100,000 to pull people over and check if they are intoxicated…seems like a racket to take more taxpayer $$$ to pay for overtime hours…oh wait:(

    • Deplorable Infidel

      remember BMac…they are ALL evil liberal progressive democrackkks…they laugh while collecting your hard earned tax money.
      incompetent elected criminals.

  5. Lulz

    LOL, and the suckers here voted for bonds that benefits these cronies in the tourist industry, All the the while the TDA is making banks and the home owner is faced with working more to pay for it. When the definition of stupid is posted, it should include the voter of Asheville. Because the typical moron is Asheville is easily hoodwinked and manipulated.

    • luther blissett

      What kind of person chooses to live among people he considers stupid, deluded or corrupt? How can such a person interact with such people on a daily basis, when seething with such hatred?

  6. Getoutthefunk

    I think a moratorium is in order. I learned where Barcelona citizens voted in a council that listened to their concerns which resulted in halting all future hotel construction due to these same concerns. Certainly, there needs to be some balance in order to maintain the integrity of Asheville as well as the surrounding areas.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.