Biltmore Lake developer buys Haywood Park Hotel

Tony Fraga, developer of Main Street at Biltmore Lake, has purchased the Haywood Park Hotel, the Starnes Building, the Haywood Atrium and the associated parking deck from Joe Kimmel for $18.5 million. Fraga said that the Haywood Park properties would be the geographic and figurative centerpiece of his development efforts in Asheville.

In a press release about the sale, Kimmel said, “When I purchased the Haywood Park property from Robert Armstrong, I had my own dreams for the future of downtown and I wanted to make Robert proud; he was a pioneer of downtown rebirth and development. Unfortunately, I was unable to realize those dreams on my own, so I set out to find someone who would deliver the kind of project I believe Asheville needs. Tony Fraga is that man.”

Alex Fraga, vice president of FIRC Group and FIRC Haywood Park, discussed the projects he and his father will be undertaking: “We have three projects in the works for Asheville. … Main Street at Biltmore Lake, the new West Gate and Haywood Park. Each project is different, but our goals for all three are the same[:] … community enrichment, job creation and business development. We want to help make Asheville a better place to live, work and do business.”

Kimmel purchased the Haywood Park Hotel, Starnes building, Haywood Atrium and the parking areas from Armstrong in 2005 and added 35 Battery Park in the fall of 2006. Kimmel, who owns property adjoining the Haywood Park site, said he hopes to partner with the Fragas as their plans to develop the site progress. Tony Fraga said that as soon as his plans for development of Haywood Park have taken shape, he will make them public.

In the accompanying illustration, the turquoise buildings were sold to Fraga, and the purple and yellow buildings remain the property of Kimmel Development Group.

— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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One thought on “Biltmore Lake developer buys Haywood Park Hotel

  1. orulz


    They can redevelop the parking lot and the Kostas building facing the Grove Arcade all they want. (Green and Yellow on the map.) Kostas could relocate elsewhere downtown and I’d be fine with that. But I sure hope they don’t touch the buildings along Haywood Street. I’m not a nimby but that corridor is absolutely PERFECT as it is. Renovate it, sure, but don’t kick out any of the retail tenants and don’t convert it to “luxury condos” – let it remain as a hotel.

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