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Nashville seeks to add hotel

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Nashville could be the scene of a new hotel in the future because a study recommends construction of an 85-room lodging establishment.

And Rocky Mount-based Stallings Oil Co. has a slightly more than three-acre site ready for development at the end of East Evans Drive at Nash Crossing.

Nash Crossing is on the southeast side of the U.S. 64-N.C. 58 interchange. East Evans Drive is home to a Sheetz convenience store, a Zaxby’s restaurant and a Burger King restaurant.

Stallings Oil Vice President Boyd Tolman told the Telegram his company has recently contacted brokers who specialize in finding hotels. Tolman said the plan would be to get a hotel company to purchase and develop the site.

Tolman said he’s hoping that something is going to consummate this year and that construction is going to start this year.

He’s estimating a project of such magnitude probably is going to take anywhere from eight to 12 months to complete.

As for why Stallings Oil is interested in a lodging establishment being built at that site, he said, “I just feel like it would be, with the size of the development we have there, that a hotel would help be a good anchor, just like the other businesses that we’ve promoted there currently.”

“They are all good anchors for bringing in other businesses,” Tolman said.

Stallings Oil and the Nash County Tourism Development Authority commissioned the study, which the New York-based HVS consulting firm conducted. The study began in October and was completed by the end of the next month.

Susan Phelps, the county’s retail economic developer, told the Telegram she had initially approached Tolman to see how she could assist in recruiting commercial development to Nash Crossing.

Phelps said she learned Stallings Oil had been talking about an interest in recruiting a hotel for the back parcel at Nash Crossing.

“We had a lot of inquiries from the community and just different folks in the area to see what we could do to get a hotel to Nashville, with Nashville being the county seat,” she said. “And so we wanted to get out in front of it and get a study done to see the marketability of recruiting a potential hotel developer to Nashville.”

She said the study shows there’s a market for a mid-scale, limited-service brand hotel, which would be similar to a Holiday Inn Express or a SpringHill Suites.

She said the study showed the average daily room rate, once stabilized, would be $109.

Among the study’s findings in favor of a hotel in Nashville, she said, is the location’s proximity to Interstate 95.

And she said a hotel in Nashville would help cover the unmet demand when rooms at the hotels at the U.S. 64-Winstead Avenue interchange in Rocky Mount become booked up.

“It would push that demand to Nashville instead of taking it out of our area to maybe Wilson or Roanoke Rapids,” she said.

Phelps presented information about the study findings to Nashville Mayor Donald Street and the town council members at the town’s recent monthly meeting.

There appears to be one detail that needs to be ironed out.

Phelps told town officials the current zoning for Nashville, with a height restriction of 35 feet, would severely limit the type of development that could be recruited.

Street told Phelps she could address the question in two ways.

He said she could ask the town to waive the height limitation, which would change the limit all over town, which could in turn become a complication in some neighborhoods.

He also said she could ask for a variance of the regulation, which would be a question for the Board of Adjustment.

Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot also said the fire code would come into play in the matter of a height variance. Barefoot said the town is looking into that.

Stallings Oil had been in the petroleum distribution business before moving into the property development and self-storage businesses.

Stallings Oil is in the same building in the 300 block of South Wesleyan Boulevard as Eagle Transport Corp., which is in the bulk fuel trucking business.

Tolman told the Telegram that Stallings Oil is a separate company from Eagle Transport but is owned by similar principals.

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