In its final meeting of the year tomorrow, Dec. 14, Asheville City Council will consider the 51 Biltmore project, including a hotel and parking deck. In addition to an update, Council will vote on leasing property for parking during the project’s construction and setting a public hearing on financing for early next year.
The project has attracted debate about the extent (and wisdom) of the city’s involvement. Opponents, including Council member Cecil Bothwell, believe the project to be a costly “money pit” and the parking deck unnecessary. Its supporters, like Pat Whalen of Public Interest Projects (a partner on the deal) believe it will provide much-needed parking spaces and an economic boost to the Biltmore Avenue area of downtown.
If the motions pass, the developers will have the parking space necessary to begin construction, and Council will hold a public hearing on whether or not to provide $15.5 million in installment financing for the project on Jan. 11.
Council will also consider what state legislation it will request, including adjusting its boundary with Woodfin and requesting more control over using water services to annex developments outside the city.
Asheville City Council will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14 on the second floor of City Hall.
— David Forbes, senior news reporter