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Flatiron Building plan to convert to boutique hotel pulled from city consideration until May
Thursday, 02 May 2019 15:44

From Staff Reports

A hotly debated proposal to convert downtown Asheville’s iconic Flatiron Building into a boutique hotel was removed from City Council’s April 23 agenda about an hour before the meeting, according to an April 24 report in the Asheville Citizen Times.

“No reason for the postponement was immediately provided by the city,” the ACT noted. “If approved, the meeting would have been the final stop for the project in an effort to convert the downtown property into a boutique hotel with restaurants and other amenities.”

Meanwhile, Asheville’s WLOS-TV News 13 reported on April 23 that “the city said in a tweet Monday that the agenda item had been continued until May 14.”

While the project remained listed on a printed agenda proved at the meeting, signs posted around City Hall stated that the proposal had been continued until the May 14 meeting, the ACT noted. 

The proposal already passed a major hurdle with the city on April 8, when it was approved on a 4-2 vote by the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

The proposal by Asheville native Phillip Woolcott, now a Charleston, S.C.-based developer, along with the building’s longtime majority owner Russell Thomas, argues that the redevelopment into a boutique hotel, costing millions of dollars, is critical in preserving the structure. The Flatiron Building first opened to the public in 1926. 

However, the proposal has  been met — at best — with mixed reactions from neighbors and other residents. 

“Many have been critical about the flow of hotel development in the city’s central business district, as well as issues of parking, traffic and the displacement of the building’s roughly 80 small business tenants,” the Citizen Times reported.



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