The property at 51 Biltmore served as a public parking lot for years. As part of Downtown Asheville’s ongoing revitalization efforts, the city of Ashville challenged McKibbon Hospitality to transform this prime slice of downtown into a mixed-use development that would help solve the city’s critical need for parking, create jobs, boost tourism, and most importantly, reflect both the local culture and the community’s goals.
The McKibbon team worked closely with architects and general contractors to create a design that maximized both the space and the local scenery. This unique public-private collaboration consists of a 400-plus space parking deck, 115-room hotel (with 4 suites) and a retail space. The hotel sits on top and in front of the parking deck, blocking the view of the deck from passersby.
Those who live, work, and play downtown are instead granted easy access to the first floor’s active leased retail space that includes The Blackbird, a restaurant specializing in Southern cuisine, and an “adventure boutique” outdoor outfitter. The hotel public space is on the second floor with an outdoor “ledge” off the W XYZ bar overlooking the activity on Biltmore Avenue. The “air level” on the third floor features stunning long range views of Mt. Pisgah, a pool, fire pit, dog walk and special cabana style rooms. The structure of the real estate transaction, an “air rights condo,” was the first of its kind in North Carolina.
Three commercial condo units were created before any construction began, allowing each owner to buy its unit and then build and finance its own use, using a general contractor, architect and project manager. The hotel also features the works of more than 10 local artists in both guestrooms and public spaces. As part of McKibbon’s commitment to the city’s revitalization efforts, full-time employees are paid living wages and the hotel team must be personally involved in a local nonprofit.
Trip Advisor 2016 Traveler's Choice Award
Voted Best Pet Friendly Hotel by USA Today
"The City of Asheville developed an important and successful public/private partnership with McKibbon Hospitality and Public Interest Projects to create a mixed-use project in our Arts and Entertainment District of the CBD. We now have a very successful public parking facility, private street level retail, and an Aloft hotel which fits the district with vibrant indoor and outdoor spaces for guests and the public."
Sam Powers, City of Asheville