14-story hotel eyed for W. Catawba 

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March 4. By Dave Vieser.  A 14-story hotel and convention center has been proposed for a five-acre site on West Catawba Avenue across from Kenton Place. Planning Director Wayne Herron has placed the proposal from Dr. Prasunamba Nara on the town’s Pre Development Review Committee’s March 8  agenda. Nara could not be reached for comment.

Drawings submitted to the town show a two-story convention/meeting center with a 14- story hotel with 304 rooms, Herron said.

Business leaders have long said that Cornelius is lacking meeting space, as well as a full-service hotel, but how a 14-story hotel will fly adjacent to a residential area is anybody’s guess. At least one homeowner, in nearby Marina Villas, said her neighborhood would oppose the plan.

The drawings were submitted to the town with a card from Nara. Mecklenburg County tax records show adjacent properties—at 16801 W. Catawba and 7628 Waterview—are owned by a Sreeramulu N. Nara and Prasunamba Nara.

“Since we do not as of yet have an actual application, I have not actually asked his first name. I just make all of my references to Dr. Nara,” Herron, the planning director, said.

Travis Dancy, director of sales for Visit Lake Norman, said that the last hotel that opened in the Lake Norman area was in the March of 2011. There have been multiple discussions and inquiries since then, he said.

Dancy said the Lake Norman area currently has 20 hotels with 1,604 rooms.  Rooms run about $69-$139 per night, depending on time of year and demand. The occupancy rate was 61.1 percent in 2015. A 304-room hotel would represent a 21 percent increase in the number of rooms.

“I do think we will see additional hotel growth.  We’ve seen an increase in occupancy every year since 2010 and the demand is there,” said Dancy.  “There is definitely a need for a full-service hotel (generally defined as a hotelwith a large amount of meeting space, a food & beverage dept./restaurant and concierge service) in the market,” he said.

The Nara proposal includes a main entrance off Catawba Avenue, a service entrance on the Marina Villas side, a beach area and a restaurant, as well as the hotel and meeting rooms. A single-family home is currently being built on the northern edge of the proposed hotel land.

The PDRC was formed two years ago to allow project applicants to receive feedback from actual decision makers prior to filing a conditional zoning application with the town. It’s the preliminary first step in the town’s development approval process, which also includes reviews and public hearings by the town’s planning board, and, if needed, the full board of commissioners.

The PDRC meeting will take place at 12 Noon Tuesday March 8 in the Town Manager’s Conference Room at Town Hall.



12 Responses to “14-story hotel eyed for W. Catawba ”

  1. We don’t need a eyesore 14 story hotel, let’s not turn Cornelius into a North Charlotte. Let them go to Charlotte !!

    Posted by Brian Stack | March 4, 2016, 4:52 pm
  2. Terrible idea. There is no infrastructure to support it.

    Posted by Pete Carter | March 4, 2016, 6:19 pm
  3. Agree with both comments. Traffic is bad enough on Catawba.

    Posted by Linda daley | March 4, 2016, 6:23 pm
  4. Used to live in the house they are tearing down to build this. I know that the neighbors will NOT be happy! Dr Nara is a shady character. He half asses everything, and I do not see this going well for the community or any future customers. He’s always hired less than competent contractors to do jobs that were never done properly, just to save himself a dime. That location is awesome, and to the right buyer would be a fantastic place to demo and rebuild. There were two houses just build on the edge of this property. Putting in a hotel would be a complete degradation of property value to those two homes since they’ll be sharing a cove with, and the surrounding homes on Waterview. It’s a shame, but Dr Nara is not interested in being friendly to anyone. All he’s concerned about is money. It’s amazing, that a retired brain surgeon is interested in getting into the hotel business. I don’t see it working.

    Posted by Rob | March 4, 2016, 6:25 pm
  5. Just STOP already!!!! You can’t keep squeezing things like hotels and apartment buildings in every available space and expect traffic to run smoothly, which is doesn’t anyway. Residents and commuters don’t want this. Tax payers don’t want this. I agree, let them stay in Charlotte, and if they have to they can commute to a meeting. Screwing over taxpayers with their own money is not the American dream… stop killing it.

    Posted by Jesse O. | March 4, 2016, 6:48 pm
  6. Is this an early April Fools joke?

    Posted by Mark | March 4, 2016, 7:41 pm
  7. Actually the property is not drawn properly as it is incorporating a residential lot that is deed restricted against commercial development. He has been trying for years to treat it as something that can’t be …and not changed without a majority vote of the property owners nearby….which won’t happen. And I agree with all of the comments above..

    Posted by Randall | March 4, 2016, 10:58 pm
  8. Residential deed restrictions won’t let this happen. Perhaps the learned owner should seek some learned counsel. NOT going to happen. And a bad idea, even if it could be built.

    Posted by Chandler | March 5, 2016, 4:01 am
  9. With the multi-unit apartments and over crowded home developments along West Catawba, this will be adding insult to injury. I have no faith in the planners, commissioners or town counsel. However, this must be stopped before the area is ruined. Traffic will be impossible and Cornelius as a destination will be a joke.. just look at Exit 28 “destination bridge”.

    Posted by Nancy Brand | March 6, 2016, 3:37 pm
  10. I like my skyline the way it is. Hell, the 3 story buildings in Davidson are eye-sores. And that tower down near North Meck high school? We don’t need no more “progress”. Turn the clocks back. Whatever brought you here is slowly disappearing. I live around the corner. Guess we’ll get out the “NO WAY” signs.

    Posted by Ron Ferrell | March 6, 2016, 5:32 pm
  11. This sounds like a terrible location for such a convention center, but even that’s beside the point. We do not have adequate roads to get people there and out. Until the state allows LKN to have adequate roads, like the rest of the area surrounding Charlotte, we actually need to stop building.

    Posted by Phil | March 9, 2016, 10:34 am
  12. This hotel would have been an excellent destination place at Kenton Place. No less, opportunities arose at Kenton Place to make projects as this happen which would have been a benefit to the business owners of Kenton Place and the local population. But greed and incompetence got in the way of Kenton Place, and now you have a failed development. Fortunately Kenton Place has attractions as a true imported Irish Pub, as well as a few other attractions that don’t make the development a complete failure!

    Posted by John Bisson | March 9, 2016, 6:23 pm

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