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rooster8

Haywood Park redevelopment

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Yes, I used to work in that building... they started talking redevelopment over four years ago and drove all the tenants out. Now the whole place is empty, go figure!

I walked through the dead mall in Westgate today, husband mused that any empty space like that should be leased for $1 until they can find someone who will pay full price.

Both places need to be redeveloped. The Haywood Park Hotel is too small and consistently lost out on business because of that, and parts of the attached mall are dumpy and moldy. The Kosta's building is an unlovable box, as are those two squat and ugly buildings on the far side of the art deco furniture store building, and that parking lot is an abominable waste of space in the middle of downtown. Westgate Mall is even worse. Fraga's folly was in thinking that he would be allowed to redevelop his property. He forgot that Asheville's credo is "Death before urbanism."

Frankly though, I'm surprised that there isn't more celebration at the Haywood Park atrium emptying out. Downtown merchants hate the specter of growth so badly that I'd think the only thing that could possibly please them would be for growth to reverse. I figured people would be calling for every empty store to be torn down and be replaced by a park within hours of the store going out of business and I'm shocked to have not heard even a peep about that. I mean come on -- where's the Asheville I know and love? All growth is bad, and buildings are evil. We need none of it and less of them! Bulldoze downtown now!

Edited by hauntedheadnc

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Tony Fraga has announced his intention to redevelop the corner of Battery Park & Pack Place as a branded hotel of some sort (not the 25 story tower he proposed earlier.)

 

http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130629/NEWS/306290031/New-hotel-could-alter-downtown-landscape

 

Few further details at the moment though I'm not surprised to see continuing interest in the downtown hotel scene, which was woefully underserved before the recent boom. The Renaissance, a decent place but most expensive, the Sheraton Four Points, outdated and poorly integrated into downtown, and the hellhole formerly known as Days Inn were the only choices at all, from the 1970s clear through about 2006 - uh, what? The room shortage was only partly helped by Indigo and Aloft - I imagine there's still plenty of extra demand in the market to support a few hundred more rooms.

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(I think you mean Page Avenue.)

 

It's funny that when a reporter with The Mountain Express contacted Fraga's group, a spokesman said that the closing of the Subway wasn't newsworthy.

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I have to imagine that this new hotel project will involve both the Subway building as well as the little parking lot in front of the back entrance to Haywood Park Hotel since Fraga owns both. Since the hotel is going to include parking, making up for the 30 lost spaces should be no big deal.

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Rendering here. This looks to be pretty much the same height and fairly similar in design to Indigo. I do like how it incorporates retail facing the Grove Arcade but I could do without the port cochere. Put in a nice large canopy and a no parking/loading zone, but lose the double curb cut. Find some way to share the driveway of 21 Battery Park for access to the parking deck.

post-823-0-43149800-1385485178_thumb.jpg

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Site plan is up on the development mapper. Seems like the reason for having the driveway/curb cut where it is, is to allow access through to the alley and existing Haywood Park garage behind this hotel. I'd rather see this done without the big port cochere loop.  It's not as bad as the Indigo but still, a full 1/3 of the ground floor of this building is dedicated to vehicular circulation which seems a bit much for being right across the street from the Grove Arcade (The Indigo, in comparison, is just next to the freeway.)

 

Beyond the vehicular driveway sisues, though, it's a modern if somewhat bland and generic design. I've never really been one to nitpick over that anyway so I think it's good enough. I guess my standards must be low since I don't mind the Aloft and I rather like the BB&T?

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Rendering here. This looks to be pretty much the same height and fairly similar in design to Indigo. I do like how it incorporates retail facing the Grove Arcade but I could do without the port cochere. Put in a nice large canopy and a no parking/loading zone, but lose the double curb cut. Find some way to share the driveway of 21 Battery Park for access to the parking deck.

The rendering conveniently omits the ridiculous collection of massive mechanical equipment on top of 21 Battery Park (right next door)

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The building has been reduced by two stories but no renderings are available of the redesign.

The developer has decided to nix condos at the top of the building (which was a crazy idea in the first place, which I had never heard of for this project.) So it's down to 12 stories. The top two stories of the design we've seen provide a nice cap to the building and kind of make it palatable. If they just lop those off, we'll be left with a squat brick box, not far from the look of the Vanderbilt Hotel after AHA took it over and rebuilt the crumbling facade but before the moderate improvements about a decade ago added back a cornice and a few architectural details.

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Maybe they'll just adjust the design to keep the upper floor design on a shorter building.  I was reading something today in the AC-T and some of the condo owners from next door were complaining about their western views because there were only western windows in their units.  They implied that they would only have views of the side of that building.  From the drawing in your link, orluz, it appears that will only be the lowest floors and maybe not even those.  Or am I missing something?

 

By the way, the Housing Authority never took over The Vanderbilt.  That building is owned and managed by National Church Residences which also owns the Battery Park.  As far as I know, the HA has never even managed The Vanderbilt.  At least not within the last 30 or so years.  Maybe before that, I'm not sure. 

Edited by Lootles

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