ASHEVILLE - A developer is looking to build an eight-story hotel on the west side of downtown that if approved could see construction start in fall 2023.
The 94,000-square-foot hotel would include an additional 37,000 square feet of residential space, a restaurant, retail space and a two-level parking deck at 68 Carter St., according to plans submitted to city planners. The site, now a large parking lot, borders Ann Street to the west, with Patton Avenue not far to the south.
It would be adjacent to the Hilton DoubleTree at 199 Haywood St. and an Embassy Suites that is now under construction at 192 Haywood St. In the midst of resident pushback over the exploding tourism industry, City Council fought unsuccessfully to stop that hotel, appealing all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Developer Monark Patel, of Biltmore Park, said it would be a Tribute brand hotel, which is billed as a family of "independent boutique hotels bound by their indie spirit and heart for connecting people and places."
The owner of the Milan Hotel Group, Patel built the Courtyard by Marriott Asheville Biltmore Village on Meadow Road and has gotten approval for an extended-stay hotel at 324 Biltmore Ave. near Mission Hospital.
To be approved as a city Level II project, the hotel will need to provide Public Benefits, a program created by the council after a 17-month moratorium on new hotels. State law would not allow for the banning of new hotels.
Public Benefits requires that hotel developers earn a certain number of points based on hotel size. Developers can pick from a menu of city programs and projects. Examples are building or contributing money to affordable housing, contributing to the city's reparations fund for Black residents, meeting environmental building standards, providing living wages to employees and building public parking or public spaces such as plazas.
Which benefits the project will choose is not yet clear. The Citizen Times reached out to project contact Tony Hauser, senior associate engineer with the company WSP.
By being a Level II project and providing the benefits, the hotel can avoid going before the council for vote. Instead it would be approved by a panel of paid city staff, the Technical Review Committee and the appointed Design Review Committee. That nine-member group is tasked with ensuring buildings meet aesthetic guidelines set for parts of Asheville is potentially the biggest hurdle for hotels.
Depending on timeline of the application the project could go before the committee Jan. 19 or Feb. 16, said Will Palmquist, city principal planner.
Joel Burgess has lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, government and other news. He's written award-winning stories on topics ranging from gerrymandering to police use of force. Got a tip? Contact Burgess at email@example.com, 828-713-1095 or on Twitter @AVLreporter. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Tribute hotel planned in downtown Asheville to include residences