BIG RIVER: Flooding concerns have played a pivotal part in the recent debate over redevelopment plans for the River Arts District. Photo by Xpress.

If the creek don’t rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District

City plans to improve infrastructure, expand public space, increase access and encourage private development in the River Arts District have triggered considerable controversy. Xpress reached out to the city, RAD business and property owners, and organizations involved in the now flourishing area’s revitalization to try to answer some key questions.

HEATING UP: Hopey & Co. co-owner Danette Hopey shows off a new brick oven intended for the pizza parlor that will open in July at 45 S. French Broad Ave. as part of the grocery's expansion.

Businesses at 45 S. French Broad Ave. unveil big changes

“We don’t add anything until we find out that people in the community really want it,” says Hopey & Co. co-owner Danette Hopey. The expansion into the renovated space, she says, will include the addition of a stone-baked pizza parlor, butcher shop, espresso and fresh juice bars, ice cream shopette, bakery and a glass-enclosed wine room.

READY FOR BUSINESS: Asheville's first Publix supermarket opens Wednesday, April 29, on Hendersonville Road.

In photos: A sneak peek at the new Publix supermarke­t

At 7 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, Florida-based supermarket chain Publix will open its 1,101st store — and first Asheville location — at 1830 Hendersonville Road. During a media preview of the 50,000-square-foot store on Tuesday, some of the store’s approximately 150 employees offered guided tours of the facility’s departments and samples of its products.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Merrimon Avenue is a strong example of the challenges residents and transportation officials face to make major roads safe for pedestrians and motorists alike. Photo by Max Hunt

Merrimon madness: Addressing safety risks along Asheville’s major roadways

If you’ve lived in the Asheville area for any length of time, you know there are certain city roads that you simply avoid at key times of day. And with tourism booming and more people looking to move here every day, traffic concerns on already crowded city streets loom large in the minds of many residents, as well as city and state officials.