Developer: Former Bank of America building not for sale

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Photo credit: WLOS staff

For many living near and working in downtown Asheville, the old Bank of America building has sat empty long enough.

"I just hope somebody gets in there and they do some form of business because it makes the block more lively. I don't like the big empty building at the end of the block," said Samuel Briggs, general manager of Jerusalem Garden Cafe. "Last summer, I remember there was actually a time when there were rats on the sidewalk at night time by that building. People are walking on that sidewalk. They weren't even running from the people!"

Last summer, MRK Hotels announced it had bought the property and planned to turn it into a 45-room boutique hotel called the Parisian.

But, construction never began, and an online listing from a real estate group appears to show the property is listed for sale.

"It draws kind of a bad crowd, you know. They stay out here at night," said Chris Betts, who lives in the Asheville area.

But, after News 13 talked with Briggs and Betts, MRK's owner called from Florida, saying the property is not for sale.

Michael Krieger said his company has had discussions with realtor, Holliday GP, but nothing more.

As for the Parisian, Krieger said the project got delayed because the company's hotel in Charlotte took a year longer than anticipated to complete.

Krieger said he hopes to begin working on the Parisian before the end of 2019.

He also confirmed plans are still on for Parisian Residences near Central United Methodist Church. That complex will include 16 hotel rooms and 39 condominiums on Aston Street. Krieger said the plan is to have the hotel and condos operational some time in 2021.