Commissioners consider Parkside purchase: “It’s time to get this nightmare behind us”

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will meet in a special closed session Friday morning to discuss the possible purchase of the Parkside property from developer Stewart Coleman, in an effort to put an end to the ongoing controversy.

Vice Chair David Gantt confirmed the purpose of the meeting, which has been rumored for days. County staff confirmed yesterday that there would be a special meeting on Friday, but would not divulge its purpose.

The meeting “is to consider the possible purchase of the Parkside property,” Gantt told Xpress. “I support it. It’s something we need to do. It’s time to get this nightmare behind us.”

He added that he could not discuss additional details yet.

The board voted to sell a piece of public parkland near city hall to Coleman in 2006 for $322,000, and he subsequently proposed to build a nine-story-tall condominium development on it and adjoining land. Critics of the project have asserted that it constituted a back-room deal that gave Coleman extremely valuable real estate with little public input. Asheville City Council unanimously condemned the original sale and the county passed a resolution urging the city to swap land to get the property back.

The board’s special meeting comes as public pressure has reached a fever pitch, with City Council urging the county to resolve the issue a second time. Meanwhile, protesters have held daily vigils on the former parkland.

— David Forbes, staff writer


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6 thoughts on “Commissioners consider Parkside purchase: “It’s time to get this nightmare behind us”

  1. Reality Check

    Does the small portion of the land that shouldn’t have been included in the sale have the Magnolia on it or is the tree on the ‘bigger’ part of the lot?

  2. Reality –

    The County Commissioners sold the 6000 sq foot lot that included the magnolia tree in 2006. The larger parcel which is the Hayes-Hobson Building was purchased by SB Coleman previous to obtaining that lot. I believe the county is trying to purchase both parcels of land from him.


  3. Gordon Smith

    Remember that David Gantt disclosed on Making Progress (WPVM 103.5 FM) that Coleman had been offered $4 million and turned it down.

    He spent only $1.52 million for both parcels.

  4. bobaloo

    I’ll repost my comment from ScruHoo:

    This may look like conclusive evidence on the surface, but until Gantt and the Co. Commissioners actually do something officially and on record, I call bullshit.
    Seriously, how much drivel are we going to buy from the now “upstanding” Commissioner Gantt? Doesn’t this seem a slight bit like CYA to anyone else?

    The only reason anyone of the Commissioners regrets it is because they got busted. Gantt’s priority is saving his job.

    I’ll also add how absolutely grand it is that all the citizens of Buncombe County, by way of the Commissioners “informal” offer, have offered to pay $4 million dollars for a f**king Magnolia tree.

  5. Gordon Smith

    To be fair to Commissioner Gantt, he was the first Commissioner to publicly acknowledge the Commission’s error, and he’s taken the lead in opposing the project at the County level.

  6. Reality Check

    They are definitely in damage control mode … and have lots of work to do!

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