Monday, February 8, 2016

UPDATED BREAKING NEWS - Possible new hotel at Exit 30?

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates. Updates at bottom.

Original Post:

Both parcels fully pictured
here are in question.  Town
owns land to right along
Griffith St. Total area 2.1 acres.
As aShortChronicle reported last week, Town of Davidson officials will be kicking off the renewed sales effort for the Downtown Catalyst Project Monday evening with a "pilot" roundtable discussion made up primarily of town advisory board members.

Now, this morning comes a piece of breaking news that could significantly impact this discussion.

According to a person on site Monday morning at the construction equipment that suddenly appeared last Friday at the parcel adjacent to Woodies Auto and the Community School of Davidson at Exit 30, the work taking place is part of "investigating a hotel" on the site.  When asked about the size of a potential hotel, the answer was that had not been determined.   According to the person at the site, even bigger projects had been discussed, but it looked like the idea of a hotel is one that could "go".

When development was originally discussed at the site a coulle years ago, it was a multiuse project with condos and office.  See this story here.  The idea of a hotel would be a significant departure from that plan.

Requests for more information are out to the Town Planning and Economic Development departments as well as those associated with the property.

In relation to the Catalyst Project, this could be a game changer.  When the initially proposed details of the Catalyst Project came out last October, the most controversial piece was the inclusion of a hotel at the site in town center.  The consultants from the UNC School of Government had floated the idea by developers and including a hotel as part of Catalyst and indicated it was well received as a way to gain more interest in the project.

Now that the idea of another hotel is apparently in the works, the question must be asked if Davidson could support possibly 2 new hotels.

If nothing else, it highlights the risk of the Town diving into the development business where they have little control over what the private sector may do that competes with a town related effort.

Update #1:  Martin Kerr of Flat Creek Construction in Davidson was able to confirm that a hotel developer is interested in the property.  The equipment on site is for soil testing.  At this time the hotel brand or size is not available.  More details should be available in a few weeks.  Mr Kerr did confirm a development application has not been submitted, but the town has been aware of the possibility of a hotel from preliminary discussions. No response has been made available from the town at this point.

Update #2: From town public information officer Christina Shaul...

"The Davidson Planning Department fields questions daily from residents and developers as to what could be built on a specific property. In these conversations, we typically discuss the planning ordinance and the development process. Most of these questions do not lead anywhere. However, once we do have a formal submittal for development, we make this information public by posting to our website. We have not received a formal development application submittal for the parcels in question.

The Davidson Commons East conditional master plan (last amended in 2013 to allow for Woodie’s) depicts two storefront and/or workplace buildings up to three stories and not to exceed 50 feet for the parcels in question. Any deviation from this approved master plan would require a conditional rezoning and approval from the Board of Commissioners."

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