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Velvet Cloak sold, could be student housing

Posted April 20

Velvet Cloak Inn

Once considered one of the most elegant hotels in Raleigh, the Velvet Cloak Inn has been sold to a developer with a record of investment in student housing.

Tax records from the Wake County Revenue Office show that the property was sold early in April for more than $5.5 million to Peak Campus, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in building apartments for students. Peak has not detailed specific plans for the property, but the building is not up to development codes that Raleigh has in place for residences.

Built in 1962 by York Properties, the Velvet Cloak Inn was once the premier destination for Raleigh visitors. Politicians, artists and businessmen all called the Velvet Cloak Inn home at different points in its history. There was a heated pool, an elegant ballroom and even a suave underground nightclub. The Velvet Cloak Inn also acted as the campaign headquarters for Gov. Pat McCrory. Though the inn has not rented out rooms for several years, there were still residents who owned condominiums at the Cloak as late as 2014.

The Smoot family purchased the Velvet Cloak Inn with the intention of someday restoring it to its former glory. However, the years rolled by, and the most that had come of it was a few sales of rooms in the hotel as condominiums. The Smoots decided to abandon efforts to renovate and sell the hotel in 2012 but faced legal disputes with the owners of the condos.

With the sale finalized, the future of the Velvet Cloak is uncertain.

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  • Melanie Lane Apr 20, 2016
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    I hope the residents left are properly compensated - I bet they won't be