Let’s see what Asheville would be like if Public Interest Projects never existed.
Start on Haywood Street, where there would not be the Asheville Hotel, which has some of the lowest-rent apartments in downtown. That little hometown bookstore (Malaprop’s) on the first floor would also not be there. How about the first large condo project in downtown (the old J.C. Penny Co. building)? It would not have happened [or] spurred the condo building downtown. I worked as a superintendent on that project and know that they did not make a dime but thought it was more important to provide downtown housing than to make a buck. You remember the Bob Dylan, Beastie Boys and Toots & the Maytals shows — never happened. Orange Peel is just a boarded up building or possibly an antique mall. There are numerous other tangible and intangible projects that never happened in this town.
How would downtown look with the subtraction of Public Interest Projects? Not Like it does today.
— Casey Carmichael Asheville