RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”

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.

FOOD CORNER: Asheville Food Park, slated to open in June across from Carrier Park, will feature parking for three food trucks, local art, food carts, a bonfire area and a full bar.

Asheville Food Park to offer year-round food destinatio­n, social space

The floods of 2004 brought 8 feet of water into the building — previously a bar built in 1948 — sealing its fate after already being shuttered for five years. Slowly, the space hobbled back into the world of commerce as a small produce stand, but it’s now being primed to return to its former glory as a social hub, family gathering place and food spot.

Whitewater fun: an in-stream design, similar to the one proposed for Asheville, was created by S20 Design and Engineering on the San Marcos River in Texas. Photo from S20 Design and Engineering.

Feasibilit­y study encouragin­g for River Arts District whitewater park

A feasibility study report delivered this week indicates that a whitewater park could conceivably be built in Asheville’s River Arts District within four years time. Colorado based Scott Shipley’s firm, S20 Design and Engineering, delivered plans for the park on the French Broad River, which is an “in-stream” concept, having multiple channels for enthusiasts of […]

Harry Pilos pitched Asheville City Council on his RAD Lofts development. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Asheville Council approves RAD Lofts incentives

Asheville City Council helped pave the way for major growth in the River Arts District Aug. 26, approving a roughly $764,000 incentive package for RAD Lofts. The mixed use development at the intersection of Roberts Street and Clingman Extension will include 209 apartments as well as 48,000 square-feet of commercial space and a parking garage.

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Unfit for artistry: Asheville upholds closing of RAD studio space

An 11th-hour effort to stave off a city order mandating that nearly two dozen artists vacate a cluster of River Arts District buildings came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, July 16, when city officials made final their decision and declined to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy. The mandate affects a city-sponsored art project and New […]