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Cedars to become 'most luxurious residential offering in the state,' Fairmont says

The Shipman family and a Miami developer have formed a partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to turn the historic Cedars property into "the most luxurious branded residential offering in the state."

Toronto-based Fairmont announced the partnership with Gregg Covin, a notable Miami real estate developer, and said the parties had  signed definitive agreements for the development and management of the first luxury private branded residential offering in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of North Carolina.

Covin began exploring the property’s potential in 2018 and has since partnered with the Shipmans and investor Brian M. Gaines to make his vision a reality. Covin is married to Shelley Shipman, the daughter of Cedars owners Fran and Tom Shipman.

"Brian is a good friend of ours and Greg," Shipman said. "He's financially a partner."

In 1976, the property was acquired by Tom's father, Clifton Shipman, great-grandfather of Gregg Covin’s children. Tom Shipman pointed out, too, that his daughter Shelley moved to Florida and met Gregg in Miami Beach, which is where Tom's mother was born and raised. "And both of my grandkids were born in Miami Beach," he said. "It all ties together very well."

The Shipmans' other daughter, Amy, is sales director for the Cedars-Fairmont condos.

Groundbreaking is expected to occur soon.

"We are just about there, I'd say mid-August is what I'm thinking," Shipman said. "I think it's going to be fabulous. It's going to draw more people to Hendersonville and to have a high-class place like this with a nice restaurant and bar, it's going to just beautify Hendersonville and it's definitely going to put us on the map all over the world. They're going to go, 'Hendersonville and the Blue Ridge mountains? We need to go check that place out.' And Fairmont is world-renowned, so it's going to draw a lot of people here for sure."

Set to open in 2025, the hotel-condo development will build upon The Cedars’ legacy as a significant landmark while ushering in a new era of contemporary design, outstanding amenities and engaging service infused with local culture and premier hospitality, a news release said.

Situated two blocks from the city's historic Main Street, the Fairmont Heritage Place — The Cedars will feature many five-star amenities, offering an exceptional cuisine and beverage program appealing to owners, guests and locals, including a signature restaurant, a lobby bar and a specialty café. Additional property features will include flexible meeting and events space; an expansive wellness center with spa, multiple swimming pools and fitness center; a cooking school; a multifunctional family room; and retail space. Residents and guests will have access to a nearby private club with Tom Fazio-designed Champion Hills Golf Club.

The development will join an exclusive collection of Fairmont-branded residences worldwide, offering private ownership with the option to participate in a rental program. Owners will enjoy all the benefits of owning a home with singular access to luxurious amenities and world-class services at Fairmont’s legendary hotels and resorts.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Fairmont Heritage Place-The Cedars, Hendersonville, the first Fairmont-branded residences in North Carolina," said Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. "For over a century, Fairmont has been intrinsically tied to the communities the brand calls home and committed to the stewardship of landmark hotels, restoring and preserving historic buildings with great care. A rare opportunity to own a piece of one of the Blue Ridge Mountain region’s most celebrated national buildings, The Cedars will be the most luxurious branded residential offering in the state. We are proud to add The Cedars iconic landmark to our rapidly growing luxury portfolio and continue its legacy for years to come.”

The 127-unit luxury residential community, "is set to transform the mountain city that has become the preferred second-home destination for generations of South Floridians and Northeasterners, due to its central East Coast setting and friendly outdoor culture," Fairmont said.

The 3.55-acre development, designed by Hendersonville architect Tamara Peacock, includes a  restoration of the centerpiece antebellum hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as the focal point. Two new six-story, mid-rise buildings — in an L-shape behind The Cedars and along North Church Street on land currently occupied by the Chariot — will include studio apartments, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units and penthouses — all with sprawling terraces and mountain views. Prices are expected to range from $400,000 to $3.8 million.

The property will bring a new level of luxury, unforgettable experiences and outstanding service to the Blue Ridge Mountain region known for its beautiful scenery, rich culture and history, and welcoming community.

Popular destinations located within a 30-minute radius of Hendersonville include Downtown Asheville, the Biltmore Estate, Asheville Regional Airport, Blue Ridge Parkway and both Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest.

In addition to onsite privileges, Fairmont-branded residence owners are invited to join the Accor Ownership Benefits Program, presenting them with an invitation to join Diamond status in ALL-Accor Live Limitless, a loyalty program that provides access to a VIP reservation desk and special residence-owner rates at more than 5,000 Accor hotels and resorts worldwide.

The Cedars hotel was originally built in 1914 in Neo-Classical Revival style for Jeannie Collins Bailey, whose husband, railroad tycoon J.W. Bailey, headed Southern Railway at the time. Just a few years prior, Theresa Fair Oelrichs and her sister, Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, debuted the first Fairmont hotel in San Francisco in honor of Nevada senator and mining magnate James Graham Fair. The historic similarities made for a harmonious union between The Cedars and Fairmont brand.

“My family grew up at The Cedars and there is no better time to welcome the next generation to discover and feel at home in Hendersonville. Fairmont brings decades of experience restoring historic properties to their former grandeur and will deliver a level of sophistication the market has been waiting for while complementing the region’s inviting culture,” said Gregg Covin, Developer. “Fairmont Heritage Place - The Cedars responds to increasing desires for second-home ownership in Western North Carolina. Market studies show less than two months’ supply of available housing inventory, with demand outstripping supply.

Founded in 1907, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a part of the Accor hospitality group, has built beacons of hospitality, magnificent architecture and service in extraordinary destinations; playing a significant role in shaping the social fabric of each location. Renowned for creating unforgettable grand hotels and residences in the heart of each destination, Fairmont was a natural match to continue the next era in The Cedars’ longstanding history.

With more than 80 locations around the globe, and several under development, the Fairmont brand boasts some of the most renowned hotel and residential addresses in the world, such as The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel in New York City, The Savoy in London, Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Banff Springs in Canada, Fairmont Heritage Place Mayakoba in Mexico and the recently reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, among others.