Buncombe County officials are studying everything from leasing mall space to building a new building to fill an urgent need for more office and courtroom space.
“We’re bursting at the seams,” County Manager Wanda Greene says.
The county has been looking at everything from building a new building to leasing space at the Biltmore Square Mall, according to Greene. Officials have been in discussions with mall property owners, she says, but the space the county was interested in leasing went to someone else. County staff have also been looking at some vacant land around the mall, she said.
No decisions have been made, but it’s clear that “we have to do something in 2009,” Greene told Xpress.
County officials recently halted plans to add 50,000 square feet of office space to the county’s Department of Social Services building on Coxe Avenue. A 650-space parking deck planned in conjunction with that expansion has also been put on hold. The project was estimated to cost about $35 million and was put off due to the down economy and the need for a better long-term plan for the county’s space needs, according to Greene.
County staff will update the Board of Commissioners on space needs during commissioners’ upcoming retreat Friday, Jan. 9, and Saturday, Jan. 10. The meetings start at 8:30 a.m. each day at the county’s Valley Street office space.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor