With development in Asheville a hot-button issue, chain stores and “big box” retailers in downtown have come under fire, and may well figure in the upcoming City Council election.
The Downtown Commission’s upcoming city-funded master plan will seek to address the issue of local businesses and chain stores. And in this election season, City Council candidate Elaine Lite has proposed banning big-box stores (possibly on streets like Broadway or Coxe Avenue) in downtown, while limiting or prohibiting chain stores downtown in the future.
Currently, chain stores in downtown run the gamut from national giants to more regional businesses — including Subway, CVS, Marble Slab, Mast General Store, Mellow Mushroom and many others.
Should such businesses be prohibited from downtown in the future? Or is banning them a step too far? Tell us what YOU think in the comment field below.
— David Forbes, staff writer