Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

City eyes Dogwood parking lot options

The idea of turning the Dogwood parking lot into a park is not the only use on the table.

The Hendersonville City Council heard from its staff Thursday night that developers are eyeing the prime downtown location and may be willing to buy the land for a hotel or other use. In August, the council discussed developing a park that would include a splash pad water feature at the parking lot. But on Thursday City Manager John Connet and City Attorney Angela Beeker reported on possible private development of the property. The options included a typical bid process for a developer, a downtown development project, a redevelopment project and an economic development project.

The city is moving ahead with construction of parking deck that once completed will make the Dogwood lot — between Church and Washington streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues — available. The different options would give the council various degrees of control over the development of the property and would require a developer pay fair market value for the property.
Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Smith said he would like the city to have the property appraised to determine its fair market value. He said he also wanted to see plans for what a park on the property would look like.
“I still believe a park is the best use of the property,” he said.
Council member Lyndsey Simpson said she also would like to see a park at Dogwood. The city has approved plans for two hotels in town and it does not need three, she said.
But council member Jennifer Hensley said that while she likes the idea of a park, she also thinks economic development might be the best use of the property.
Mayor Barbara Volk said she thought the council should not make decisions about the parking lot until later.
“We’re still so up in the air. We still have time,” she said.
Connet said he would work with the city’s staff to come up with a basic concept plan for a park on the property.
Connet also showed the council a conceptual plan for Edwards Park. The plan includes the putt-putt course that the council plans to relocate from Boyd Park to make way for a new Fire Station 1. It also includes a public art area, a concession stand, a pavilion and a playground.
In June, the council adopted a resolution authorizing an agreement that involves swapping 25 acres of the city-owned Berkeley Park for the county-owned Edwards Park property at Five Points. Under the agreement, the city would get the property containing scout cabins plus a $100,000 payment from the Henderson County School Board. The school system would get the Berkeley Park land and the historic Berkeley Spinners stadium. City Council members, School Board members and city and school system administrators have been negotiating the swap for months.