Vandals destroy latest plan to redevelop Fayetteville hotel
Posted December 10, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Fayetteville landmark will soon go on the auction block for the third time in seven years after a developer on Monday dropped his plans to renovate the Hotel Prince Charles.
David Levinson bought the 87-year-old hotel a year ago and planned to spend $4.5 million to transform it into a mix of office space and 80 downtown condominiums.
"I was doing it only because I was asked to do it. I was doing it as a favor, and I thought it was interesting," Levinson said Tuesday.
Copper thieves destroyed the building's plumbing, wiring and ventilation system, which would add more than $2 million to the renovation cost, he said.
"What was perfectly feasible before the damage was done was not feasible after the damage was done," he said.
Levinson's departure is the latest in a line of failed attempts to revive the hotel, which was twice declared unsafe for habitation a few years ago.
Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson said he would love to see the hotel restored to its former glory, but he said the city isn't in the business of subsidizing developments like that.
Councilman Bobby Hurst agreed that Fayetteville can't afford to pick up the extra $2 million redevelopment cost.
"With crime and economic development – jobs – I think those are two priorities that don't mix with $2 million," Hurst said.
Unless a deep-pocketed developer buys the hotel at auction, he said, the building should probably be torn down.