130 Charlotte St. development clears Council

WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The development will include 186 residential units, along with roughly 4,500 square feet of commercial and retail space, approximately 230 parking spaces in an underground garage and six parking spaces on East Chestnut Street. Rendering courtesy of Kassinger Development Group

Charlotte Street’s historic buildings are about to get a contemporary neighbor after members of Asheville City Council approved a new mixed-use development for the neighborhood. 

In a pair of votes on Oct. 12, Council approved conditional zoning and a land use incentive grant for the project at 130 Charlotte St, the former location of Fuddruckers restaurant. The development will include 186 residential units, along with roughly 4,500 square feet of commercial and retail space, approximately 230 parking spaces in an underground garage and six parking spaces on East Chestnut Street.

The grant, which will provide the project’s developer, Kassinger Development Group, with annual rebates of city property taxes on the value of the project for 16 years — a total estimated value of over $1.5 million — was approved unanimously. Council member Kim Roney was the sole vote against the conditional zoning, arguing that the project didn’t offer enough affordable housing. 

The project will include 37 rental apartments that are deed-restricted for 30 years for families earning at or below 80% of the area median income ($60,100 for a family of four). Half of those units will also accept federal housing vouchers and rental assistance for individuals and families at or below 60% AMI. 

Ten people spoke against the project during the public hearing prior to Council’s votes over concerns it would increase traffic and alter the neighborhood’s character. The property is located in the Chestnut Hill Historic District, an area listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was originally zoned for a maximum of 50 units per acre. The new development will nearly double that density.

Council also received an additional 55 emails and nine voicemails in opposition to the development, despite the developer scaling back the project’s parking and commercial elements after meeting with neighborhood groups.   

“We’re not going to have a quaint little village anymore where businesses and families thrive, but we’re going to have gridlock,” said resident Paula Coughlin during the meeting. 

“Once you change the overlay, the [Unified Development Ordinance], you give conditional zoning, when does it stop, and where does it stop?” added resident Carolyn Warner.  “Why can’t the areas around Asheville that are already brownfields, grey fields — Tunnel Road, Patton Avenue, areas that have already been destroyed —  be the areas to infill with affordable housing and keep the historic entrances like Charlotte Street the way it is?”

But Council members who supported the project, including Antanette Mosley, highlighted the project’s contribution to housing in an area with a dearth of affordable options. Paul D’Angelo,  Asheville’s community development director, noted that the area was one of the highest earning census tracts in the city, while Shannon Tuch, the city’s principal planner, said that approximately five units of affordable housing exist within the area, which were approved in 2009.

Consultant outlines reparations program plan

Debra Clark Jones, president of TEQuity — the consulting firm selected by City Manager Debra Campbell to manage the city’s reparations program — provided an overview of the next steps her team will take with the goal of developing short-, medium- and long-term recommendations. 

Clark Jones said that the firm will first focus on seating the 25-member Community Reparations Commission, which will include 13 representatives from neighborhoods impacted by redlining and gentrification, such as Burton Street, East End/Valley Street, Shiloh and Southside, as well as Asheville Housing Authority communities. (Asheville’s resolution supporting reparations had called for the commission to be established by July.)

City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will each appoint six additional commission members. Applications will open Monday, Oct. 18, and will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 15. 

Clark Jones said that the commission appointments will be finalized by January 2022. More information about how to apply or nominate someone for the commission is available at avl.mx/an0.

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18 thoughts on “130 Charlotte St. development clears Council

  1. Peter Robbins

    First the Vance Monument and now this. I can’t believe there wasn’t a way to repurpose the old Fuddrucker’s building as a culinary museum and memorial to a bygone era of family dining. The chance for a teaching moment has been lost.

  2. North Asheville

    The design of the 130 Charlotte St project on the old Fuddruckers site is very much in the spirit of the buildings across the street that are home to the Chop Shop, Bone and Broth, and City Bakery, especially in the brickwork and window detail. Nice complement to the character of the neighborhood, especially with the “urban village” feel. Congratulations to the developer and the architect.

  3. Jerry Hinz

    Where is ” Greenspace “? ——– Where is “Site Integrity”– that is —” fitting into the neighborhood ” ? The parking spots required should be 2 cars for each unit.
    I heard that San Fransisco requires 2 per condo —
    I believe that Asheville requires much less than that- forcing many of those with 2 cars to find on street parking. Of course that will cause congestion on the local streets
    and those with homes nearby will lose the ability to park near their homes… I have been very disappointed in what the City requires for parking– Actually-
    the Flat Iron had NO PARKING REquirements– and will now park in the VERY MUCH IN DEMAND– GARAGES– and pay the city some money– while WE lose parking spots.
    They will likely use Wall Street Parking deck- the very much in demand parking spot for locals- for workers and shoppers–
    now being taken by those staying at a hotel..and the city will get some money for each one parking… but that’s not the point. TO THE CITY– Provide an abundance of parking with
    each development- so you don’t just turn around later-and bill ME for building another garage.. as you benefit developers. The plan to have parking here of about 1 car per condo/ apartment- and a few spots for shoppers is hugely inadequate… To afford these – 2 people will likely be in each one bedroom unit– and they each will likely have a car. That means parking should be 186 times 2 – plus staff- plus commercial shoppers and employees….. so probably above 400 spots are needed… and they will build 236. Disgusting..

  4. Mike R.

    Here’s the real problem. This project by itself (while way out of proportion to other buildings in the area) will probably not end the world; although traffic on Chestnut and Charlotte will be incrementally worse. BUT, we know that with this one passing, at least 3 more will follow. And they will expect to be similarly large and for this or future Councils it will be virtually impossible to decline. And that is when you can say goodbye to any existing quality of life and reasonable traffic experiences for that section of Charlotte St and the adjoining neighborhoods.

    It was a very poor, shortsighted decision on the part of City Council and the Mayor. It establishes a terrible precedent for this area and the city.

  5. Charlotte St. Resident

    I don’t understand “5 units of affordable housing.” There are numerous apartment buildings in the area that meet the criteria, as well as NOAH units throughout. Just because it isn’t registered with the city doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  6. NIMBY

    Those against this responsible development perpetuate the oppression of low-income and minority residents. Wake up Asheville.

    • Mike R.

      No, those against this development want a better balance between the needs of low income and minority residents and the needs of existing neighborhoods and the many citizens that use Asheville’s narrow and congested streets. No one is against providing affordable housing. Yes, a smaller project would have provided less affordable housing, but that is the result of balancing other equally valid interests and needs. On the other hand, taken to a ridiculous extreme, why not build a 50 foot skyscraper on this property and load it up with affordable housing? That extreme example I think is clear to all to be unacceptable. Or maybe not?

      • NIMBY

        Why not build a wall around the city and keep outsiders out? That’s an opposite extreme, but one that many appear to support.

        You are right that it is about balance. This development strikes an excellent balance and moves the needle on the affordable housing deficit. Our city needs density if we hope to improve.

        • Mike R.

          I don’t disagree about Asheville needing greater density in housing. But we need to be extremely careful with this. Asheville is cursed with the narrowest of streets which impacts about every form of mass transit, including the most cost efficient….buses.
          The really big issue with Charlotte St. is that forward looking people know that after this project was approved, there are at least 3 more that will soon request the same density. That is the real issue for Charlotte St. Not NIMBY, not anti-affordable housing. Just plain common sense to prevent this thoroughfare and surrounding neighborhoods from being totally trashed after ALL these developments are put in place.

          I support your desire for greater affordable housing. I get it. But wrecking a really cool area and neighborhoods to accomplish that is not going to go over well. And this isn’t just about the wealthy and those that are struggling. We have low-middle income families with houses that will now look out on a 50 foot brick wall. Yes there is a space buffer and some scraggly ass trees, but really, who want that? The affordable housing advocates have “screwed the pooch” with this decision (IMHO).

      • luther blissett

        I guess you and your neighbors should have pooled together enough money to buy the property, then. It’s not as if most homeowners in that part of town aren’t lacking in equity.

        Having dropped the mock-Tudor cladding, this project is better-conceived than 101 Charlotte — where both sides lost, the optimal outcome — and entirely fits what that section of Charlotte Street is. If the 101 Charlotte developers come back with something similar in scale then it’d also be a good fit.

  7. Dave

    With this development I hope the city will finally prohibit parking on Chestnut Street between Liberty and Charlotte.

  8. JJ

    There used to be apartments available across the street from Fuddruckers, above Chop Shop and City Bakery. They were affordable and then the tenants were forced out so they could be turned into air bnb’s for tourists. Now, this unholy mess is going in so the area will look like Charlotte or Raleigh and can be rented out to even more tourists. No thanks. Guess those of us that love the old Asheville will continue getting pushed out farther and farther away.

    • Frank

      Is the tourist/traffic problem on charlotte st coming from a couple Airbnb’s or is it the thousands of tourists going coming from the Grove Park? Perhaps the people who work at the Grove Park would like to be able to live within walking distance of their employer instead of living out in Swannanoa or Leicester. That might take some of the traffic off.

  9. Eli Sorrells

    It’s very interesting to see how people simultaneously cry for affordable housing, yet oppose any new development and wish to impose inane parking requirements. It is developments similar to these 100 years ago that have made our city so valuable, like on Haywood road, Downtown, and even across the street from this project. It was not made into the national destination it is today buy building parking lots, or building nothing at all. In fact, it is dense developments like these that help preserve our historic storefronts and rural areas from subdivisions and sprawl. We must accept the fact that cities grow and change. We need to allow development ls like these to keep our city from being choked by commuter traffic, like we see from Hendersonville and Biltmore Park. Also, if we build new housing like this, it ultimately decreases the price of older units.

  10. Frank

    Seems smart to do infill projects like this in the blocks south of hillside/chestnut between Montfort and charlotte st. There are three grocery stores and easy access to downtown. You can actually live without a car in this area.

    Seems like a lot of traffic on Charlotte St. comes from greater N Asheville and the Grove Park. Perhaps those people will choose another route. These building can be attractive, You can call it Charlotte or Raleigh style if you want but Charleston has many examples of these too on King St. Savanah GA also. Pretty big scale but set in a beautiful town, lots of brick like the other old buildings near by. It works there and does not feel Charlotte style.

    Where Charlotte style massive suburban apartments are going up is everywhere else in buncombe county contributing greater to traffic congestion and pollution.

    • Peter Robbins

      Bingo, Frank. The developers across the street must be wondering what gods they offended.

  11. Taxpayer

    All I can add is I’m glad I don’t live in any of the surrounding neighborhoods or have to drive on Charlotte St. I’m sorry for those who do.

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