A group of downtown residents is urging the city of Asheville to convert city property in front of the Civic Center into a new urban park. The property, acquired for a planned parking deck and other development projects that have now been abandoned, includes a couple of buildings and some surface parking in the area between the Civic Center, the Basilica St. Lawrence, the Battery Park apartment building and the Grove Arcade. The city has recently indicated that it will consider plans for the properties in the near future.
Demolition last year of a building at the intersection of Page Avenue and Haywood Street opened a view of the Basilica that had been blocked for decades, while the area has been touted as a potential park for years. Chuck Tessier, a downtown developer and former Buncombe County planning director, told City Council several years ago that the space is the logical place for Asheville’s next park.
The pro-park activists have posted a Web site promoting their plan.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer