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Biltmore Village developments

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Three new hotels are planned near Biltmore Village. From January, there was an article about an 81-room hotel just south of I-40 (3/4 mile down an unwalkable road from the Village), plus a 50-room hotel on the site of the Plaza Hotel, right in the thick of things.

Now, there's a new 98-room, four-story hotel (plus underground parking) planned on the site of the Biltmore Village Exxon, immediately across the street from the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, and next door to the "fancy" McDonald's. The building will take up the entire block bounded by McDowell Street, Lodge Street, Biltmore Avenue, and Boston Way. Read the article here, and then check the rendering here (beware, the labels are wrong):

biltmorehotel.jpg

I think these are great developments for a historic (though touristy) area that is urbanizing. Apparently the C-T thinks that a four-story building is too much for BV, but looking at the renderings, it feels more like a two story building than four, and it will fit in well with the rest of the village.

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I think that will be an excellent replacement for the non-conforming Exxon. I hope it is approved.

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Looks like the HRC is generally pleased with the design and will probably approve with a few conditions.

Check out the article. I agree that this building will contribute rather than detract from the character of the Village - and will probably help open up the area for even more densification. I'd like to see some of the parking lots along Biltmore Avenue filled up with buildings, and some more urban residential (town homes or condos) near BV as well.

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Now, there's a new 98-room, four-story hotel (plus underground parking) planned on the site of the Biltmore Village Exxon, immediately across the street from the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, and next door to the "fancy" McDonald's. The building will take up the entire block bounded by McDowell Street, Lodge Street, Biltmore Avenue, and Boston Way. Read the article here, and then check the rendering here (beware, the labels are wrong):

biltmorehotel.jpg

I think that's a great, yet tight location for the hotel. On the other hand though, I wouldn't want to be parked in an underground parking garage in case this ever happened again on that site.

187776790IsuEfx_fs.jpg

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Reading the forums on the C-T website, a lot of people make the same comment about the floods and the below-grade parking. (No thanks to a few bad apples, the C-T forums come across as a cesspool of the most abject stupidity, ignorance, racism, and hatred that I've ever seen, but setting that aside for a moment...)

The below-grade parking / flooding issue is a red herring.

Parking is exactly the right thing to have below ground for this building. Concrete walls, concrete floors, metal pipes, and maybe a few wires. If the building gets flooded, after the waters recede just bring in a power washer, hose it down, and it's clean again. With finished spaces that have niceties such as furniture, wood, and sheetrock, you're either stuck demolishing or tearing everything out and replacing it.

Looking at the renderings, it looks like there are stairs at the entryway. If I'm right about that, it would mean that the first floor is perhaps four feet above ground level. Biltmore Village floods, to be sure, but the floodplain is WIDE - so those extra four feet might even lift the human-occupiable space out of the 100 year floodplain.

It's also not as if cars down there are automatically trapped, or even more vulnerable to flooding than anywhere else in BV. If BV is flooded, your car will get wet regardless of whether you're parked in front of the depot, at the McDonalds', or under this hotel. Cars can move, after all! :)

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The Citizen-Times had an article about the hotels in Biltmore Villiage. The article is mainly about Doubletree Hotel Biltmore making plans to expand their hotel, but it gives an update on the 3 new hotels being planned. You can read the article here.

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That hotel planned for the Exxon site will do wonders for improving the image of that corridor. This will help extend the Village and bring it across Biltmore Ave.

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Here's the link: Work on Biltmore hotel set for '07

Again, it's an exciting project. I know it's not exactly in the "village", but I wish the city would promote an improvement of the corridor on the other side of the river on Biltmore. It's jarring to drive by this neat little area and then *bam* - tacky fast food restaurants. It doesn't all need to have the village look, but there is definitely some room for improvement.

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The new-construction hotel by Motel Asset Management on the former site of the Plaza Motel (111 Hendersonville Rd) is on the HRC Agenda for November 8th:

111 Hendersonville Rd. amend previously issued CA for design, site plan and finish details for new 2

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Good news, good news. Usually takes a while to clean up a gas station (removal of all the tanks is a big one) so it may be a while before we see them excavating the whole lot, but it's good to see this moving along.

I'm really glad that this dated, sheet metal panel-clad exxon was redeveloped before BV's other gas station, Clayton's BP, which is probably the most attractive gas station in Asheville. There are still plenty of other empty lots in BV that I feel should go before we need to worry about redeveloping the BP.

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Looks like the hotel on the former Exxon site will be called the "Bohemian Hotel."

Site plans and elevations are available for the proposed Annex, on the Pedro's Porch site, from the Asheville Development Mapper. This one doesn't seem to be quite as high-quality as the original, and has lots of curb cuts and driveway entrances.

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Anybody had a chance to swing by Biltmore Village and get a picture of the construction on the Bohemian Hotel? I noticed that their website is up, and they're advertising a Fall 2008 opening. The website also has a 3d rendering of the hotel as a background.

It was under construction last time I checked a couple months ago but nothing was sticking out of the ground yet.

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A general question about the architectural design of this building and others in the BV area: Do you guys think that new buildings should look like they were built around the turn of the last century?

I like the infill and increasing pedestrian-friendly nature of the area, but I'm wondering if it's not going to look like a mini-Disneyland when all is said and done.

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If the buildings are built in a traditional manner that reinforces quality pedestrian spaces: oriented toward the street, parking in back, limited set backs, etc. then the village will not look like Disney. If there becomes a mandated "style" with no consideration of the character of the village and strip type, auto oriented development is allowed you will continue to have abominations like McDonalds and Hardees, and you will end up with "Biltmoreseyland Village"

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I'm sorry to see that the design on the hotel website is a good deal less refined than previous renderings. The scale, massing, window and door patterns, and materials SHOULD BE much more important that emulating the Hunt/Smith village styles -- but unfortunately, the design guidelines are not implemented in a very creative way. The McDonalds is a ridiculous cartoon of a building (though I have to admit that I like that "M" half-timbering in the gables), but apparently it is much-loved by visitors and is seen by many to be a very successful design -- and a notable instance of the burger chain departing from total cookie cutter design. I'd rather see a comtemporary building that references the old in more subtle ways -- like the addition on the New Morning gallery on Bilmore Avenue.

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Didn't have a camera with me, but I drove by the site today. There is a blue crane (yes, one of those kind) up now. I didn't get out of the car to peek over the fence, but they must be getting serious now.

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I noticed that myself earlier this week and last week when I was passing by. If you try to picture it, that thing is going to be massive. Which is fine with me.

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This article talks about how upscale retailers are moving into Biltmore Village, but it mentions a new mixed use building planned for 63 Brook Street. However, when you map that, 63 Brook is the address of the Bohemian Hotel. What's the story? The article also mentions that the building is planned for a project already under construction with 160 underground parking spaces. Sound familiar? Is it bad reporting leading to confused readers, or something more sinister? You decide.

Meanwhile, don't you all think that hoity-toity neighborhoods like Biltmore Village and newly-constructed bastions of fru-fru like Biltmore Park are the best place for this kind of upscale growth? It gives the companies a place to locate without having them displace people and businesses from the neighborhoods, like downtown, that really don't need that kind of change. Everybody wins because the upscale hotels and shops, which would come to town anyway, get to do what they want, and the local color of Asheville doesn't get chased off. Williams Sonoma or whatever gets their place in Biltmore Village and Sunflower Moonblossom Peace Love World-Understanding Jones-Jakubowski's Hemp-o-Rama Emporium gets to stay downtown, keeping downtown as weird as we all love for it to be.

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I thought that building was the one where Williams Sonoma is moving in, and the one mentioned in the article was a different one.

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hauntedheadnc is right - the last paragraph of the article is talking about a second retail development on Brook Street, by the same developers.

Here is a map of the old strip center they're talking about. I think Google Maps has addresses for Brook Street mixed up. This one is listed in the Buncombe County tax records as 63 Brook Street, and it's actually further out what I would call Sweeten Creek Road.

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