Developer takes Asheville city council to court over disputed hotel project

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Embassy Suites asheville
Rendering of the proposed hotel for which Asheville City Council has declined to grant approval

An expensive three-year legal battle over a proposed hotel in downtown Asheville was set for a hearing before the North Carolina Supreme Court, The Citizen-Times reports.  Arguments were to be heard on Jan. 6.

The case relates to the city’s denial of approval to build a 185-room Embassy Suites hotel and parking deck.

City council members have cited concerns about parking, traffic and a high concentration of hotels when they voted against the project in 2017. Asheville city council implemented a one-year moratorium on new hotel construction in September.

Project developer Shaunak Patel told the newspaper his company had offered the city a $4.1 million settlement earlier in the year that would have included $2 million for the city’s affordable housing fund. He said the city turned down the offer, which also included a pledge to pay hotel workers a living wage.

An Asheville spokeswoman said the city does not comment on pending litigation.

Patel said the legal case and construction delays have cost his company more than $6 million.

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