The old Wells Fargo bank at 75 Coxe Ave. has cashed its last check and taken its final deposit. But the closed downtown drive-through building is tapping into a comeback courtesy of its next door South Slope neighbor.
Asheville Brewing Co. at 77 Coxe Ave. is buying the site from Wells Fargo. Brewery president Mike Rangel says he’ll use the property for a variety of purposes, including parking, family-friendly activities (e.g. cornhole) and some special events such as beer releases. He expects to close on the lot in the next few weeks.
Most recently used for parking, the 1.24-acre lot can fit 55 cars. With parking at a premium along the city’s brewing district, Rangel says, the lot will continue to be available to anyone visiting the South Slope at $3 per entry. But he sees the property as far more than just another slab of asphalt.
“It’s a great opportunity and responsibility to create a space that’s fun for Asheville,” Rangel says. Just what that mission will involve, however, is still coming together. He’s seeking suggestions for the best use of the site, though at this point he does not plan to demolish the old teller windows or add more structures.
“It could potentially be done in the style of an urban park with more trees,” Rangel says. “We want to make it as green as we possibly can. We have no plans on expanding the brewery [onto the lot.] Asheville has a way of telling you what your business should be.”
The former bank is the latest acquisition for Asheville Brewing, which beyond its restaurant, patio and brewery, also includes a canning line and a T-shirt printing operation on its Coxe Avenue property. The company also operates its original brewery location, pizza restaurant and discount cinema at 675 Merrimon Ave. and a take-out shop at 1850 Hendersonville Road.