Black Mountain board rejects developer's plans for downtown building

It's back to the drawing board for a developer looking to build a three-story building in historic Black Mountain. The Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday voted 3-2 against plans for retail space, condominiums and a restaurant. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

It's back to the drawing board for a developer looking to build a three-story building in historic Black Mountain. The Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday voted 3-2 against plans for retail space, condominiums and a restaurant.

Several residents were opposed to the three floors, believing the third floor would block the mountain view.

"I think it's too big. I think it's too tall, and I think it will effect us negatively," Black Mountain resident Kent Logan said.

Developer Joseph Cordell disagreed. His team presented different templates to the board and residents, showing how the project would enhance the view and fill a gap on Broadway.

"A third story is something that is important from an investment standpoint. To invest in Black Mountain is very high, but a third floor also adds 50 percent more business and revenue for downtown," Cordell said.

The main downsides for board members were scope, scale and size. Some members were concerned about how the new building would fit in with the historic properties surrounding it.

Some residents suggested forming a committee to learn more what they want to see.

"You want to come to a town that hates you? Who's going to go to the stores that you're going to create? They're not going to patronize the stores," said David Madden.

Cordell and his team plan to appeal the board's decision.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not shocked," Cordell said. "I knew there was significant opposition, so I was prepared for this possibility. But our intention is to keep pushing forward. We intend to do this project until we've exhausted all avenues."

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