When built in 1925, the Hotel Prince Charles was downtown Fayetteville’s tallest building. It was a grand landmark like no other. But over the last 40 years, the structure deteriorated to the point that the fire department closed it down several years ago. In 2014, PCH Holdings LLC bought the hotel at auction for $200,000. The surrounding property was purchased for $2 million. Fayetteville native Jordan Jones is one of the owners and is serving as project manager of the company’s reconstruction of the interior of the building. It’s a family affair for Jones. His great, greatgrandfather, James A. Jones, built the hotel 94 years ago.
When North Carolina’s largest banks showed no interest in downtown Fayetteville investment opportunities, a local community bank said yes when asked to join in a long-term investment. Carter Bank and Trust Company is the major investor in the $18.3 million reconstruction project. “It was a pretty huge win for downtown,” Jones said. He added that over the last year the big banks have seen the commitments that the city of Fayetteville and PCH Holdings have made, and now consider the city “investable.”
Jones said the Prince Charles project was much more than a renovation. None of the existing interior walls still stand. One-bedroom units have about 650 square-feet. Apartment rentals from the second to the seventh floors range in price from an average of $1,200 for one-bedroom units to $1,700 for larger two-bedroom units.
Two-bedroom apartments have two full baths. All apartments have washers and dryers in addition to kitchen appliances. There are 11 separate floor plans. A dozen or so of the 59 apartments overlook Segra Stadium. Not all the apartments are ready for occupancy, but Jones said it won’t be long. The former ballroom on the eighth floor has been leased to a firm with 3,300 square-feet of open office space. The original hardwood floors remain.
The 300-plus windows in the building represent a significant, unintended expense for the developers. The Historic Resources Commission is responsible for reviewing and approving all exterior changes in designated districts and to landmark properties. It required that the windows be repaired, not replaced. “We sent them to Florida to be fixed,” Jones said. Austin Historical Restorations of Orlando was paid $850,000 to preserve the window frames. Jones added that much of the original glass was used.
The apartment building’s first floor at ground level will feature two full-service restaurants. A high-end steakhouse is planned for the former lobby of the hotel. A pizzeria with 2,600 feet of open-air space is planned for the rear of the building near the baseball stadium entrance. And, the Coffee Scene with shops on Morganton Road and Fort Bragg will also have a location in the Prince Charles, just off Hay Street.
Tenants will have reserved parking spaces in the adjacent five-story parking garage. The city owns the building at a taxpayer cost so far of $16 million. PCH Holdings has put $2 million into the parking deck and has asked the city for another $1.5 million. It’s estimated that of the 482 spaces in the parking tower, 200 of them will be available to the public depending on time of day.