City leaders met late Wednesday afternoon with representatives of the Atlanta development group that is planning to build a $71 million, 400-room Marriott Hotel in downtown Raleigh. The leaders are unhappy with the way that the hotel is looking on paper -- specifically, the stucco that's supposed to go on the top exterior of the building. One council member called the material "cheap."
Also, there are currently no plans for a major entrance onto the Fayetteville Street Mall. Since that's a huge fixture in the downtown area that city planners are in the process of revamping, city leaders want a grand entrance onto the brand-new street.
However, some progress has been made on other sticking points with the proposal that were holding up negotiations. In particular, the lighting portion of the hotel on the Fayetteville Street Mall has been revised.
Representatives of the development group said that the debate over the plan is just part of the normal negotiation process for a property of this size. However, city leaders said that with over $20 million in taxpayer funds going into the project, they must make sure that the hotel looks like a class act.