Construction on the new Urban Outfitters store in downtown Asheville is moving ahead on schedule, with the retailer planning on being open for the holiday shopping season.
"The building permit is in place. They're starting to chip away at the facade, and they're on a very strict timeline," says Kristie Quinn. A partner in Boone Associates, an Asheville-based real-estate and development company, Quinn is a local spokeswoman for the project.
Store officials announced in July that they'd struck a deal to open a store in the former CVS drugstore building at the corner of Haywood and College streets. The two-story, 8,000-square-foot store will feature a central staircase, large windows and merchandise tailored to the Asheville market, store officials told the Asheville Downtown Commission this past summer.
Quinn says construction is still in the demolition phase. The plan is to remove the stucco covering the building's original brick, she says.
"Typically, Urban Outfitters likes to clear everything out and have a shell," she says. "They'll add some lights and wiring" and a few other touches, Quinn says, but "they like to keep it real simple."
During construction, the sidewalk in front of the store will remain closed, Quinn says. One or two lanes of traffic on College Street will also be closed at points during construction.
Quinn says Urban Outfitters has also decided not to ask for a variance from the city for the sign it plans to paint on the back of the building. The store brought a proposal before the commission, got feedback, and decided to go with a design that complies with all city ordinances, Quinn says.
"They call it a whitewash effect, where you can see that the sign looks extremely weathered, where you can see writing used to be there. It will imply that it's been there a really long time," Quinn says.
Urban Outfitters sells everything from men's and women's clothing to accessories, novelties, books and rugs. Urban Outfitters is a publicly traded company that also owns the Anthropologie and Free People clothing stores, and Terrain, which sells home-and-garden products. Urban Outfitters specializes in the adaptive rehabilitation of older buildings for its stores. It's headquartered in restored buildings in an old U.S. Navy yard in Philadelphia.