December 15, 2020
"six-story hotel-condo development surrounding the historic Cedars Inn on Seventh Avenue between North Church and Buncombe streets won the endorsement of the Hendersonville Planning Board, moving the ambitious project one step closer to final approval. The Cedars Lodge and Spa plan calls for a complete renovation of the historic inn, which would house the main dining room and also be used as the lobby entrance. Aside from 11 traditional hotel rooms in the Cedars, the project includes another 132 condo/hotel suites for a total of 180 potential rooms within the Buncombe and Church Street buildings. Additional amenities include a conference center, sports bar, pool and courtyard.
Property owners Fran and Tom Shipman hope to bring the application to the Hendersonville City Council on Jan. 7 and break ground once the plan is approved. The Shipmans, a developer and two architects have submitted plans for a renovated four-story 15,310-square-foot inn flanked by two new six-story buildings with basement parking — one along the Buncombe Street edge of the property and the other along the Church Street edge of the property. Each of the new building would be approximately 100,000 square feet. The Church Street building includes two levels of parking garage while the Buncombe Street building includes one level of parking garage at approximately. A 6,250-square-foot atrium connects the inn and two new buildings. In total, the project is 235,000 square feet. “We were well received by the neighborhood,” architect Tamara Peacock told the Planning Board. She emphasized one rendering that “shows how predominant the Cedars is. We use the brick and granite and details of the wide porch" in the larger buildings. "So we’re not competing with the building, we’re letting it stand by itself.” Plans call for guests to valet their car at an entrance off Seventh Avenue, enter through the Cedars and “walk through a completely restored historic hotel. It needs to be grand," Peacock said. "This is going to be grand project.” The applicants seek no variances from side or front setbacks, she added, and the plans include more parking spaces than city code requires."