Tuesday, September 12, 2017

UPDATED: Exit 30 Hotel - The players...

The Exit 30 Hyatt Place Hotel project is controversial due to its location near schools and in an already congested area as well as being adjacent to a vulnerable neighborhood.  It also includes a web of players and associated individuals that reads like a who's who of Davidson development both past and present.  The paths of these individuals cross whether it be in business, in ideology, in Town Hall, or in just being neighbors in a small town.  That is probably to be expected in a town the size of Davidson.  However, when people along every step of the process have this many interactions it can lead to a degree of group think, and that can lead to flawed decisions.

Here is the roster...

The Developer - Beacon IMG group led by Nish Patel is a hospitality development firm whose portfolio includes the Homewood Suites in Davidson.

The Land Owner - The land for the project is owned by an entity named Davidson Common East Condominium Associates LLC.  This LLC names R Martin Kerr of Davidson as manager.

The Former Land Owner - The current LLC bought the land from an Five Six Five LLC in 2008 for $1.65m.  See here and here.  Five Six Five LLC lists Ed Harris as its manager.  This LLC still owns the land on which the Community School of Davidson K-7 building sits just across Davidson Gateway Drive.

The Attorney - Local Davidson real-estate attorney Susan Irvin has been involved in multiple transactions around this property.  See here and here.  She is also representing the Hotel project team in its interactions with the town.

The Former Banker - People's Bank is the bank listed in deed related documents for this property.  People's is Mayor John Woods's former employer.  When the Woodies project went through in 2013.  Woods signed off on the sale for Peoples.  See here on page 3.

The Architect - Dave Malushizky of the RBA Group is listed as the architect on the project.  Malushizky is formerly of the Lawrence Group.  The Davidson office of Lawrence Group has closed, but that office had long-standing ties to Town Hall.  See here for that background.

The Consultant - Craig Lewis of Stantec.  Lewis was contacted for the traffic study required for the project.  Lewis is also a former Lawrence Group alum.  See here for more on that.

The Town Attorney - Town Attorney Cindy Reid wrote a legal opinion favorable for this project.  See here for that.

The Former Town Attorney - Public records show Former Town Attorney Rick Kline was at least consulted on the opinion produced by Reid.  Also, per a public records request Kline has recently been involved in a separate deal with the same land owner.

The Land Planner - While not involved in the hotel project directly, Commissioner Brian Jenest's land planning firm has been involved in earlier proposed projects to develop this land.  See here.  Commissioner Jenest's firm also worked on the Homewood Suites when it was built.  See here.   Commissioner Jenest's firm and Susan Irvin mentioned above are often seen working on the same projects around Davidson, Potts Street and Davidson Depot to name a couple.  They have also worked together on a similarly controversial hotel plan in Cornelius.  See here for that.

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