PARC: Tell elected officials not to sell city land near Basilica to developer

Here’s the message from the People Advocating Real Conservancy group via its email newsletter:

If the McKibbon Group gets its way, this view of the Basilica of St. Lawrence might soon be your best way to see it.

McKibbon wants to buy several City-owned properties in front of the Basilica to build a high-rise hotel, potentially blocking sight lines between several public buildings – Pack Memorial Library, the Vanderbilt, the Basilica, the Civic Center, the Battery Park Hotel, and the Grove Arcade.

Many worry that construction of a hotel so close to the church could damage it. The church has one of the world’s largest unsupported eliptical domes, and at age 103, heavy construction nearby risks damage to the structure.

But Council has another reasonable option.

The Church itself has offered to buy the property, with a plan to immediately use the area for parking and later build a smaller building, set back from the church with a public plaza in front.

So there are actually three proposals for the land:

1. A high-rise hotel. Cities lose their local character quickly when the corporate giants come to town. (We already will have the new sign for the U.S. Cellular Center);

2. The Church’s set-back building, with a plaza; or

3. A city park, pictured below. As the economy improves and development resumes, more and more green space will be lost. Smart cities put in green space as they grow.

Please email City Council and let them know your thoughts on this!

If you want, send us a copy and/or send your letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times or Mountain Xpress.

(Letters to the editor require your full name and phone number for verification.)

from the folks at PARC.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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