Saturday, August 20, 2016

Controversial Davidson Developments Part 2: Exit 30 Hotel

The previous column told you about Davidson Depot.  Now, it's on to the next bit of concrete and steel that could also be a real Town Hall barn burner of a project - a new Exit 30 Hotel.

aShortChronicle broke the story of this project back in February of this year.  See here and here.  Those stories revealed that a possible 120 room hotel was in the works.  A follow-up piece in June (see here) revealed it was likely to be a Hyatt Place developed by the same firm that did the Homewood Suites.

From that June article...

Nishith Patel whose firm, Beacon IMG, is mentioned in the documentation was also contacted.  Beacon IMG is a hotel development firm and is behind the Homewood Suites also at Exit 30. When asked if he had a comment for this story, Patel declined with the following statement. "Not at this time, we are still in the process of completing our application for the town."

Finally, Davidson Planning Director Jason Burdette said this about the project.  After qualifying that the town has a standard process for projects he said, "some of these projects continue, some do not. Those that do continue usually go through significant change before an application for development is officially submitted."In a followup question Burdette did say if this project goes forward this plan would be "conditional" - meaning the Town Board would have to approve it."

This week aShortChronicle was able to confirm some significant new details per a public records request and some follow up questions.

The new hotel will be a Hyatt Place as previously reported.  The current estimate for the number of rooms is 110-115

Per town Planning Director Jason Burdet on Thursday...

"The application came in late yesterday and should be on the web by the end of the week. As proposed, this project would be an amendment to a conditional master plan and will require approval by the Board of Commissioners." (Emphasis added.)

As of this writing on Saturday the plan is not up on the town website.  Readers should check here for it to show up any time now.

Burdett went on to say...

"I believe the last discussion we had with the developer suggested a proposed five-story hotel with a partial sixth story as a rooftop restaurant and outdoor dining space." (Emphasis added)

At 6 stories, this would likely be the tallest building in town sitting right next to the Community School of Davidson elementary/middle school on Griffith Street.

The requirement to get Board approval could be contentious.  When Woodies Auto next to this site was approved it resulted in a split 3-2 Board decision with current Commissioners Rodney Graham and Jim Fuller voting against it.

To that end those lobbying for the project appear to be hard at work.  The public record shows extensive efforts to meet with Commissioners outside of the normal planning process.  There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it is an indication they are not certain the project has the votes.

Tentative schedule being discussed at town hall as of 8/4 (from public record request)
  • M 8/15: Application Submission to Town/EPM (Sketch Plan)
  • W 8/24: Notice to Adjacent Parcels due to Town (PIS)
  • F 8/26:Town Mails PIS Letters
  • W 9/7: Public Input Session (Alt. Dates: Tr. 9/8, 9/12, 9/19-22
  • W 9/14: PIS Report due to Town
  • F 9/16: Notice to Adjacent Parcels due to Town (BOC Hearing)
  • Tu 9/20: PB-BOC Joint Work Session?
  • M 9/26: Revised Plans Due to Town/EPM (Master Plan)
  • T 9/27: Ad for BOC Hearing Due to Observer
  • F 9/30: Town Mails BOC Hearing Letters
  • Tu 10/11: BOC Hearing
  • M 10/3: Final Plans Due to Town
  • M 10/24: PB Hearing
  • Tu 11/8: BOC Decision
  • Nov-Dec: Additional EPM As Needed?
The clock is already ticking for citizens to have their input.

If this project concerns residents, they should do the following:

1. Send an email to

2. Get ready to pack Town Hall for the above events in red.  Make sure to check back here in case the dates change from this tentative schedule.

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