The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday January 15th

N.C. State selects firms to construct, manage new hotel

Proposal draws criticism from some students, retailers

The long-term effort to revitalize N.C. State University’s retail corridor on Hillsborough Street is now expanding to accommodate travelers.

The university announced Tuesday its selection of two firms to build and manage a proposed hotel — with ground-floor retail space — on property the university bought across from the historic bell tower using its endowment

But the project is not without its drawbacks.

Some students and business owners are weary of construction.

“I’m kind of fed up with what’s going on campus, and if they’re adding more construction that seems a little annoying to me,” said Alexandra Anastasi, a sophomore at NCSU.

Local businesses, including Sadlack’s Heroes, a sandwich shop popular among students, are in line to be displaced by the construction.

Rose Schwetz, owner of Sadlack’s, said she has very little information on the project and does not know how long her business will be able to remain open.

“We’re just going to roll along like normal until somebody says we can’t be open,” she said.

“I just have to ride it out,” she said. “That’s just the way life is.”

The university selected Bell View Partners, based in Raleigh, to develop the land, and The Bernstein Companies, based in Washington, D.C., to manage the development, said Ralph Recchie, director of real estate at NCSU.

The university has not sold the land to Bell View Partners yet, and all revenues from that sale will return to the university’s endowment, he said.

Despite mixed emotions about the development plans, some business managers say the new hotel does have its perks.

A recent overhaul of Hillsborough Street, which included repaving the road and adding traffic circles, cost the city of Raleigh $10 million and caused disruptions for many businesses, but the new layout also boosted business for stores, said Chris Filan, manager of Porter’s City Tavern, a restaurant on Hillsborough Street.

There are very few places for parents of NCSU students to stay, so the proposed hotel would be beneficial for businesses, Filan said.

“I really see this as nothing but a great thing for us,” he said.

Specifics of the hotel construction are not yet finalized.

The hotel construction will cost tens of millions of dollars, and it will not be complete or occupied for a few years, Recchie said.

The development will house an array of local retailers, which will be tailored toward the tastes of students and residents, he said.

“I think it will definitely add to student life when it comes to Hillsborough,” Anastasi said.

Contact the State & National Editor at state@dailytarheel.com.

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