As someone who drives this stretch of road every day, I understand both sides of this controversy.
The houses seem to have been purposefully neglected, and yet they aren’t architecturally important. The worst part of the plan is losing the stone walls, the front line of mature trees and elevation above the sidewalk — all of which make Charlotte Street more interesting.
If those three things could be incorporated into the development, the opposition would be a lot less.
— Steve Woolum Asheville
Editor’s note: The 101 Charlotte St. developer withdrew an application for conditional zoning for the project Sept. 17 and has submitted an application for a smaller project in its place, the Citizen Times reported.
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7 thoughts on “Letter: Improving the 101 Charlotte St. project”
Everyone has an opinion about what would be best; including the developers.
Saving the houses was a non-starter. They are run down and no one can expect a developer to pour the amount of money into restoration that is needed. And for what? Who is going to buy or lease? A high dollar law firm? x 4?
Regarding trees and stone wall. Yes, nice features but again, trying to save would likely encroach on reasonable return on investment of the developer.
Truth be know, the proposed 101 Charlotte St. had a number of really nice design features.
It was just too big and overpowering for the neighborhood and narrow streets; and certainly for Charlotte Street traffic flow.
The developer can still make plenty of money on something more scaled down and hopefully will also add some nice design features that will make the streetscape inviting.
I’d expect that the same people who buy houses and fix them up in Montford, North Asheville, Kenilworth, West Asheville, Oakley, Saint Dunstan’s, and Beverly Hills would be willing to take on repair of individual houses along Charlotte and Baird Street. They are not beyond repair.
Does anyone recall the time a development similar to the 101 Charlotte St project was proposed for a huge tract on Merrimon after a car dealership moved out? It was to have a combination of housing (including affordable housing), shops, green space with trees, walkways, bicycle paths, in other words an urban village. The neighbors rose up in protest because some of the housing would have been in five story buildings. The developer withdrew the proposal. Now that tract is home to Harris-Teeter, Trader Joe’s, Chick-fil-A, and open parking lots.
I remember that. That leaves only Charlotte Street or Broadway as corridors for any kind of housing project that is truly walkable/bikable to downtown and other amenities like TJ, WF and HT. For that reason, higher density projects in these areas could have reduced impact on traffic and hopefully provide some workforce housing which Asheville desperately needs. There are numerous examples of multistory housing in these areas, like the four story Jefferson Apartments on Chestnut and the 6 story condos on Macon.
Thank you for this context.
The leaders of Asheville have little vision and pass laws that run counter to their expressed desires.
Ban/limit hotels? Build them just outside the city in the county. Result—-same hotels but more traffic.
Profess to want more and better public transportation? Oppose density building projects . Hint: cities have density, that’s kind of what they are.
You can support density without approving every flawed high density project that comes down the pike. It’s not high density at all costs. It’s well designed projects in appropriate locations balancing more values than density alone. Build on the empty lot without demolishing a block of listed historic district.