Developer takes Asheville city council to court over disputed hotel project

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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