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Daydreamer on Biltmore: New mural unveiled

After years of city planning and public forums, another year of designing, sculpting and painting and a month-and-a-half of installation, Daydreamer, Asheville’s newest piece of public art, is finished. Asheville muralists Alex Irvine and Ian Wilkinson took down their scaffolding on Wednesday, Nov. 5, revealing the first unobstructed view of the new work. Daydreamer, formerly […]

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Climbing up the walls

On Friday night, the City of Asheville’s Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) will host a public comment and review session for three project proposals in order to determine which new piece of public art will be installed at the 51 Biltmore Ave. parking garage.

51 Biltmore is a complicate­d but brilliant solution

Many complaints about the 51 Biltmore project said it was bad for the environment and sidewalks. Some said Pat Whalen and Public Interest Projects, Julian Price’s development firm, were “greedy developers.” As Julian’s widow, I’d like to add Julian’s perspective. Julian, an avid environmentalist, knew that sprawling development hurts people and the environment. In 1991, […]

Decked: Over two and a half hours, a parade of citizens and business owners made arguments for and against the 51 Biltmore parking deck. In the end, Council, including Mayor Terry Bellamy and Vice Mayor Brownie Newman (at top) voted 5-2 for the project. photo by Jonathan Welch

Biltmore brouhaha

City agrees to sell Reid Center to Housing Authority Civic Center renovations planned A political battle that had been brewing for months came to a head at the Asheville City Council’s Jan. 25 meeting. At issue was the city's use of parking revenues to fund the 51 Biltmore project — a complex deal involving the […]

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PARC, Public Interest Projects square off over 51 Biltmore

In dueling statements, the advocacy group People Advocating Real Conservancy and the developer Public Interest Projects have weighed in on the proposed 51 Biltmore project. PARC is calling it a “boondoggle — a misuse of public funds,” while PIP (which own the land), call PARC’s statements inaccurate and defend the development as necessary to improve downtown.

Room service

In limbo since 2008 due to a faltering economy, the 51 Biltmore project took a couple of steps forward at the Asheville City Council's Dec. 14 meeting. If the hotel/parking deck/retail development is approved, the target site — a large parking lot on Biltmore Avenue — could change dramatically. On a pair of 4-2 votes […]

Not so fast

Having worked on the 51 Biltmore hotel/parking garage project for four years, I was surprised by Cecil Bothwell’s recent commentary (see “Parking in a Money Pit,” Sept. 1 Xpress). I don’t believe Bothwell’s claims fairly represent it. As president of Public Interest Projects, I went to bed on Aug. 31 worrying about money, our downtown […]

Parking in a money pit

Do you believe Asheville needs more downtown parking? Chances are, you answered "Yes." That’s the widespread perception. But suppose we asked why you believe Asheville needs more downtown parking? You probably want more parking near some place you want to visit: a favorite store, restaurant or theater; a downtown bank or government office. Maybe you […]

Asheville City Council

City jumps on board 51 Biltmore project Fireworks planned to gin up restaurant patronage Living wage not ready for prime time Police chief debriefs after Palin rally It’s hard to find a conversation these days that doesn’t somehow reflect the current national economic climate. The trend held true for the Asheville City Council’s Oct. 28 […]