Fayetteville, N.C. — The historic Hotel Prince Charles was once the centerpiece of a bustling Fayetteville, but years of disrepair and eventual bankruptcy nearly led to its demolition.
Now, a developer hopes to remake the 87-year-old building into downtown's crown jewel.
"Someone came to me and suggested this building needed saving. They said that they needed a hero," said David Levinson, who purchased the building in December. "I took a look at it and had a vision – that of an elegant older building turned into a contemporary space with a great ballroom."
It will be quite a project. The hollow building has been stripped by thieves pilfering copper wire, fixtures and pipes, but Levinson said he plans to turn the hotel's 80 rooms into residential and business condos at about $80,000 each.
"It's a tremendous opportunity for people who want to live and work downtown to get a very nice place to live," he said.
He even expects Triangle law firms to open Fayetteville offices there.
"(It will be) a fabulous place for them to have a small office condominium, inexpensively," Levinson said. "There's a business center available to them, large and small conference rooms available to them, and it's right downtown."
Levinson, who developed the Anderson Creek Club golf community in Harnett County, said a feasibility study will have to be conducted before any renovations begin. That will likely take at least 6 months.
He said he had to give up on the idea of the Prince Charles being a hotel.
"I believe it's important for people who live in this building to have an ownership interest in the building," he said. "It has not succeeded in the past as a hotel."
Built in 1926, the Hotel Prince Charles has been vacant since Fayetteville officials deemed it unsafe in 2010.