With tonight’s forum, the city of Asheville kicks off a three-week public-comment period on the Downtown Master Plan draft. Share your thoughts on this controversial blueprint for the future of downtown.
Asheville activist Steve Rasmussen has released a report critiquing the Downtown Master Plan draft, asserting that its enforcement powers on development issues are weak and that much control would be turned over to unelected boards to the benefit of developers.
Mayor Terry Bellamy told members and guests of the Asheville Downtown Association gathered for a “State of the Downtown” luncheon Jan. 8 that the city has made real strides to make downtown better, but that more needs to be done. Since she took office in 2005, Bellamy said, the city has increased efforts to keep […]
The draft document of the Downtown Master Plan has been public since last week, but Thursday, Jan. 15, is the official rollout date, when Asheville residents can hear—and comment on—details addressed in the draft, such as building-height and new compliance guidelines and the already-controversial Asheville Design District, a proposed new downtown-management entity. (View the document […]
The recently-released draft of the Downtown Master plan, if approved, would drastically reduce Asheville City Council’s authority over the development process, with only the most massive projects coming up for a vote before Council.
Asheville Downtown Association hosts annual luncheon presentation
Is downtown Asheville becoming more dangerous? The answer seems to depend on whom you ask. Holding steady: Violent crime downtown is not on the rise, Patrol Lt. Wally Welch asserts. photo by Jonathan Welch Downtown resident Naydeehn Messier has no doubt about it. “I definitely feel as though it’s getting worse,” says Messier, co-founder of […]
The holiday season is approaching, but with the economy in the doldrums, experts predict a slump in shopping and entertaining as consumers scale back. While frugality may be good, even noble, the season is the bread and butter for retailers and a vital part of the year for restaurants as well. To that end, the […]
Asheville’s downtown is more than a mere place — it’s a brand and an economic engine that needs protecting and constant fine-tuning. That was the gist of a presentation by Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority Executive Director Kelly Miller to City Council at its Oct. 21 meeting.
I sometimes pen pages while my baby sleeps, but during my entire pregnancy I did not write at all, save for one short poem. It was October, and I was working as a hostess at The Market Place almost every night. It was grueling in the belly of the kitchen. The pace was hectic; we […]
After many years of visiting from New Orleans, we arrived in Asheville in September of 1981, finally ready to make it our home. Once again we were struck by the skeletal remains of a once-vibrant city now barely connected to its illustrious past, except for a mishmash of glorious but unkempt early-20th-century architecture. But even […]
According to Asheville’s Building Safety Department, City Council last year authorized almost double—double—the already astronomical dollar value of development that occurred in 2006! Our progressive Council has left a carbon footprint on our beautiful mountains that would make Halliburton blush with environmental embarrassment. How many oxygen-making trees have been permanently displaced by inert impermeables? Thousands? […]
When elected officials conduct their business in the sunshine of public scrutiny, their constituents can have full faith and trust that the decisions made are aboveboard, well-considered and in the best interest of the general public. At the local level, maximizing the public’s access to government empowers communities and builds leaders. Over the last couple […]
The search for a consultant team to give form to a new Downtown Master Plan, kicked off by Asheville’s Office of Economic Development last fall, has ended with the selection of the Boston-based firm Goody Clancy.
Last August, the call went forth. Asheville’s Office of Economic Development issued a Request for Qualifications from firms that could guide a new Downtown Master Plan for the city, building on the existing City Center Plan of 2002. What’s next for downtown Asheville? A Downtown Master Plan will be developed in 2008 to guide the […]
Six finalists are under consideration to lead the Asheville Downtown Master Plan process in 2008.
The search for a consultant to help develop Asheville’s Downtown Master Plan has attracted what one local architect called “a veritable who’s who” in planning. By the Nov. 8 deadline, 33 mostly high-profile firms from across the United States and even Canada had responded to the city’s request for qualifications. A project of the Office […]
The Ellington Hotel, a 23-story “boutique” hotel proposed for a site fronting on Biltmore Avenue, Aston Place and South Lexington Avenue, received unanimous approval from the city of Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting Wednesday night.
Robert Puentes, a Metropolitan Fellow with the Brookings Institution, addressed a gathering hosted by the Asheville Downtown Association at UNCA’s Reuter Center Monday evening.
Tony Fraga, developer of Main Street at Biltmore Lake, has purchased the Haywood Park Hotel, the Starnes Building, the Haywood Atrium and the associated parking deck from Joe Kimmel for $18.5 million. Fraga said that the Haywood Park properties would be the geographic and figurative centerpiece of his development efforts in Asheville.
People Advocating Real Conservancy, an Asheville community activist group, has decided to challenge the city’s policy of selling air rights to developers. At the same time, the group has placed an upset bid on air rights above the sidewalk at 82 Patton Avenue offered for sale to redevelopers of the old First Union Building.