flatiron building

Picture of the Flatiron Building, with a large iron statue in front and the sun peeking through the trees on the right-hand side.
Cass Herrington / BPR News

Two weeks after the Asheville City Council passed the new Flatiron Building proposal, residents are divided on what the building's transformation means for the future of downtown.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council narrowly approved a revised plan to turn the Flatiron Building into a hotel at its Tuesday evening meeting.  The vote took place roughly a month after an initial proposal was pulled from consideration because there was not enough support for it on council.

Matt Bush

The Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville will not be turned into a hotel – at least for now.  At the end of Tuesday night’s lengthy city council meeting, four council members – Brian Haynes, Julie Mayfield, Sheneika Smith, and Keith Young – all stated they were against a plan from a South Carolina-based developer to turn one of downtown’s most iconic and oldest buildings into an 80-room hotel.  Those four constituted a majority of council members, so the developer's lawyer pulled the plan from consideration before the council could vote on it.  That allows it to come up again at a future meeting.  

North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library

Plans to turn Asheville’s historic Flatiron Building into an 80-room hotel are still on hold. City Council is expected to vote next week on the proposal.

The history and context of the building's construction echoes the current trend playing out today -- a shift toward urban development.

The Flatiron was constructed in 1926, and in those days, the eight-story building was considered a skyscraper.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

UPDATE: Tuesday 5:45 p.m. - Shortly before its scheduled meeting was to begin Tuesday evening, Asheville City Council pushed back a public hearing and potential vote on a proposal to turn the historic Flatiron Building into a hotel until its next meeting May 14th.  The plan would turn the 93-year-old building on Battery Park Avenue in downtown into an 80-room hotel with restaurants on its bottom floor.  City staff recommend council members approve the plan, but there has been strong pushback from several residents and neighborhood groups to the proposal.