Thursday, September 1, 2016

Catalyst's Revenge...Exit 30 Hotel

When the Catalyst Project broke into the forefront of conversation in Davidson back in 2015, the thing that made it explode into controversy was inclusion of a hotel in the plan.

That idea sank like a stone.

But as aShortChronicle pointed out a couple weeks ago, Catalyst supporters at Town Hall were likely to get a second bite at the hotel apple with the proposal for a Hyatt Place hotel next to the Community School of Davidson on Griffith Street.  See previous coverage of this bubbling story here, here, and here.

Well, after months of delay since the story first broke in February, the application for the project is finally up on the town website.

Hotel Site Border in Red

Here are a few of the lowlights which will likely raise similar concerns as those with the Catalyst Project.


According to the schematic in the application, there are only 118 parking spots for the project.  HOWEVER, only 70 are on the hotel site itself with 48 being made up of on street parking and shared parking with Woodies.  This includes new on street parking along Griffith Street.

Per information provided to the town on August 1st, the estimated number of rooms will be 110-115.  Oddly, this tidbit was not included in the application.

115 rooms and 118 parking spaces, much of it offsite.  Davidson must be getting the first completely robot staffed Hyatt Place because apparently there will be no staff needing to park as well.

It is impossible to see how this "plan" does not create a permanent parking nightmare in the area.


Traffic! What traffic?!?!

According to the application, because the project is less than 75,000 square feet no traffic impact analysis is submitted.

This of course is completely ridiculous.  Due to the pre-existing school adjacent to the project, twice a day on every weekday during the school year, there is major traffic in the immediate vicinity.

Add to this the fact that by its very nature hotel guests will be unfamiliar with this daily traffic pattern and you have the makings of a very dangerous traffic situation every...single...schoolday.  This will be particularly true during morning rush when traffic is already a mess in that area.


If approved, this building will dwarf anything in the area.  The project is pettitioning as part of the application to be allowed to build up to 68 feet in height.

This will make it significantly taller than the buildings around it.  According to information obtained as part of a public records request, these are the heights of other buildings nearby.
  • Two Harbor Place (Valspar) is 57 feet 
  • Woodies is 36 feet 
  • Homewood Suites is 59 feet
Oddly, the application specifies 4 floors, but the previous references to the number of floors say 5 (with a possible partial 6th) while also asking for the same 68 foot height.  More oddly, no renderings of what the building might look like have been posted to the town website.

All of these concerns should sound familiar to those who opposed the Catalyst Project.  For those reasons maybe this project should be called Catalyst 2.0.

Bonus Observation:  Per multiple Facebook postings, Mayor John Woods is apparently emailing citizens implying this is a done deal and that the town's hands are tied.  He probably thought the Catalyst Project was a done deal too.


  1. Investigate who will get the monetary kickbacks on this deal. They really don"t seem to care about the safety of the kids and families affected. Time for a leadership change in Davidson.

  2. Ridiculous indeed! I bet the rocket surgeons at Town Hall are salivating over this one.