[In reference to the online post, “Stop and Go: Apartments Stall, Townhomes Get Green Light,” Nov. 9, Xpress:] Wow, I can’t believe that he (James Wilson) would have to endure “a chorus of boos” for doing business with myself and our company solely for putting apartments in AVL. [Buncombe County Board of Adjustment member] James Wilson is one of the kindest and nicest people that I know, and he’s a land broker and a real estate investor. He’s also a great person with a wonderful family, perhaps the kindest person out there — and he had to stand there and take “boos” from the apartment protesters of his own city for investing in apartments?!? That’s so sad. Sorry, James.
I’m curious as to people’s motives for such actions. Asheville obviously has a housing shortage, and I’m not sure what the apartment protesters think the answer is to that problem. Is it houses that most can’t get a mortgage [for] due to such tough underwriting regulations? Is it that “affordable housing” requires subsidies that are extremely difficult to get and especially within the time frames allowed? Or perhaps, is it that with such demand for any housing, rentals of all sorts and product type are in such short supply that even the oldest and maintenance-deprived apartments are getting sky-high rental rates. And that’s mainly because people don’t have many housing options to [choose] from.
I hope the apartment protesters understand that without increasing supply while demand grows, then so will the price point in the rental rates. I really wish I had been at that meeting to see how some people can be so spiteful over “right by use” development. Asheville is growing, and people need a place to live, not to mention that growth in the county’s and city’s tax bases that could go toward the affordable housing fund; also, more units create downward pressure on rental rates for the older existing properties.
Also, the current infrastructure and lack of road safety in Asheville and Buncombe County seem so much more important than any new apartment project. Apartments simply don’t kill people, but an outdated and unsafe infrastructure system and lack of road safety do all the time. The road system really needs a new master plan.
I fully respect the opinions of the people of Asheville and the greater area. However, there’s a housing shortage there, and we’re helping ameliorate that situation with each new community. Growth has to come to Asheville and will continue. While a specific person has been quoted referring to our communities as “tacky,” I respectfully disagree, but she’s absolutely entitled to speak in such a distasteful manner. We all have rights in Asheville.
— Nick Hathaway
Partner and director of development