Controversial hotel plan axed at SouthPark

by Mike Parks

Plans to build a 108-room, five-story hotel on Park South Drive are off the table for now, after the developer withdrew a proposal to rezone the land.

K&P Development backed away from their plans for a hotel on a little more than half an acre at 6026 Park South Drive, near SouthPark Mall, pulling it off the table at the Monday, July 16, Charlotte City Council meeting where the city would have voted to approve or deny the project. The developer had said a number of hotel groups were interested in moving into the space had the project moved forward, but it’s not clear now what the land’s owner will do with the lot. The petitioner gave no word to the city’s planning department on what they’ll do next after withdrawing their proposal recently, and the development company did not return calls by press deadline.

The news is good for staff at the nearby adult day-care center, The Ivey. Center stakeholders had argued before city council at previous meetings that the hotel would harm their business and the well being of their clients.

“We were needless to say happy and relieved that our vulnerable population will be protected,” Lynn Ivey, the center’s owner, said following Monday night’s meeting. She was concerned that construction of the project would cause harm to day-care clients, many of which suffer from cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s, as they enter and leave the facility. Meanwhile, the hotel, at five stories, would have towered over The Ivey, and for a lesser extent nearby Brighton Gardens, an assisted-living center.

Charlotte City Council members had their own concerns, including saying the project may have been too big for the small amount of space. Council also was concerned about the potential need for blasting, as the hotel would have an underground parking lot.

The petitioner called The Ivey to ask the center’s leaders to officially withdraw their protest over the development, but did not detail any future plans for the property, Ivey said. The property’s owner can now come back with another proposal, or try this proposal again, according to city planners, but Ivey knows what she’d like to see done with the lot.

“We would like very much to see a project that is of compatible use to both The Ivey and to Brighton Gardens,” Ivey said. “And we don’t know exactly what that is, but compatible in both use and architecture that could be utilized really by both Brighton Gardens and The Ivey.”

Ivey and her partners had the chance to purchase the land when they originally moved in near SouthPark, but opted not to at the time. That’s not to say Ivey isn’t considering what she could do with that land if she gets the chance in the future.

“We would be very interested in trying to work something out, but we’re not at that point yet,” she said on potentially purchasing the property to expand.

“Now we’re trying to work on whatever next step we may want to take, if anything,” Ivey continued. “It all was such a whirlwind of information, but I’m very, very grateful the zoning board realized the project wasn’t really compatible with the neighborhood and that all our neighbors really came together.”

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