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Bojangles planned, hotel eyed on Upward Road

Investors plan a hotel, a Bojangles and other retail on Upward Road at I-26. Investors plan a hotel, a Bojangles and other retail on Upward Road at I-26.

Declaring that "the economic environment for new investment is awakening," developers plan to resurrect an Upward Road-I-26 interchange project that will start with a Bojangles and could include a hotel, one other restaurant and retail shops.

Dormant since the 2008 recession, the project would cover 6.5 acres on the southwest corner of the interchange. Investor Neil Farnam of Asheville said a Bojangles is the first business that has committed to the site. He is hoping to sign up a hotel.
"There's still a lot of due diligence and so forth," he said. "I think they're serious. I think we're getting close. It's been a long time. It's been seven years. I think the economy has improved a bit and the road is nearing completion, which is a help. This area of the state seems to be drawing a lot of tourism."
Farnam and his investment partner, Hendersonville roofer Pete DelaVega, plan to pursue the same plan the city authorized in 2007. The site plan shows six building on the property covering a total of 73,000 square feet. Besides the Bojangles and a hotel at the back of the property, plans call for a second restaurant and retail space. The developers dropped plans for a bank, saying they generated no interest.
Developers have already combined separate parcels into one piece, removed houses and outbuildings, graded the site and installed electric and gas service. They expect to add city water and sewer service in the next couple of weeks, Farnam said.
The application for a special use permit was filed by Farnam and property owners Margaret and Jerry McGraw. In a related matter, the City Council last month authorized the voluntary annexation of a tenth of an acre owned by Jack Jamison that adjoins the property to be developed. The developers are including the Jamison corner parcel in the overall site plan.
Last month the City Council extended the deadline for starting the project to May 3, 2015, and extended the completion date to May 2017. The Planning Board on Monday recommended that the council grant the developers' request to extend the project completion time frame from three years to five years.