Please stop insisting that McKibbon must build a hotel and parking! It sure feels like you are in collusion. The new plain and cheap-exterior Broadway Hotel, if built near the Basilica, would be a huge failure — for the builder, City Council and the people of Asheville.
Please listen. Quality of life for the downtown area means so much. Hotels in the core may destroy what we have. They really should be on the edges of town with transportation and walking to the center. More congestion isn’t good for pedestrians, bikes or car traffic.
Let’s preserve the Basilica. This does not mean that all buildings should look the same or “old,” but they should be in scale and enhance the older buildings nearby. You know that you can reissue the request for proposals in an effort to have a use for the site that respects the integrity of the Basilica, provides for some public space and complements all of the surrounding properties.
A reasonable assumption is that the Basilica would develop the land wisely with great architecture and wonderful green space. The Basilica having no authority now and “working with” McKibbon is not enough. We need to see their proposal on a new RFP and evaluate it based upon site integrity and scale.
Let’s continue enhancing Asheville. The Basilica plan may not maximize all profits and may not even be a hotel and parking, but they built a wonderful basilica and I trust them to have a great solution. It is unusual to have an option available which fits the situation so well.
City Council: You are in control of this. You really do know the right decision. This is a special opportunity for Asheville.
— Jerry Hinz