Letter writer: Let’s get realistic about the decay of Asheville’s charm

Graphic by Lori Deaton

… Asheville’s charm has been decaying fast and will cease to be very soon. It is unavoidable. Sadly, it’s just business.

Enough with “better wages” and “affordable housing” — we are all disposable, particularly to the rate of people flocking in and those who will take the low wages. Nor are the jobs (breweries, bars, hotels, restaurants, etc.) vital to human needs and [sustainability].

The corporations coming and already here are raising the property values of their area in town. What do you think happens from there, people? The building next to it, across the street, will have the rent raised to values unaffordable to artists, small-business owners, unique restaurants, etc. When nobody can afford the rent anymore, that building or area will get purchased and destroyed by yet another corporation, thus increasing the property value of that area after their business goes up. It branches and spreads fast from there with this cycle.

Our city officials could care less about the integrity of what Asheville has been and the people who made that happen. Their outlook is on the future full of money, not human needs or well-being. This is why you have no say, opinion, or vote on what is to come, because you would choose those things. Easier to make a profit getting someone stuffed full of food and drunk than keeping a “vibe.”

Soon you will see nothing downtown but corporate businesses, clubs, big food chains, upscale bars, breweries (I’m a beer connoisseur, but seriously, this one is getting really stupid), unnecessary amounts of hotels, an exploding increase in homelessness, criminal and drug activity (Let’s get real, the Asheville Police Department can’t even handle what’s in the city now at all) already happening swiftly. The schools are already overcrowded and troubled, and the staff there already has low morale and demeanor. Plus, do you think the width and structure of our roads and highways are not already congested? Just wait.

This city is progressive in the sense it’s progressing forward with its worth in dollars. …

Farewell to the history, to those who tried their hands at real, true business and quality. Goodbye to those of us who came for the beauty, nature, simplicity and open-mindedness years ago. Prepare for the indefinite collapse of the middle and lower class in Buncombe County.

For those who choose to stay and hope for the best, hope is only as good as doing, and there is nothing you can do when you can’t vote for anything or even get but seconds, if that, to speak at a Council meeting.

— Derek Daniels


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5 thoughts on “Letter writer: Let’s get realistic about the decay of Asheville’s charm

  1. Austin

    “Goodbye to those of us who came for the beauty, nature, simplicity and open-mindedness years ago.”

    And therein lies the problem. People came to the area. They came from outside, in large numbers, and didn’t stop. However, every time someone who came here starts with the same lament as this writer, I want to ask them, were *you* the missing piece that made Asheville perfect? We should have slammed the gates after *you* got here? You were the one thing that finally made Asheville perfect? Why on earth didn’t we see it before it was too late!

  2. Derek Daniels

    I never sought to make Asheville perfect but I did strive to work in unison and harmony with the “beauty, nature, simplicity and open-mindedness” over the years… Getting involved with advocacy and philanthropic groups, volunteering for a number of organizations, etc. and I’m still very involved with them. My mindset for the direction Asheville is going is not like a good number of newcomers seeking profit and financial gain. I believe Asheville’s foundation is nature and that is being exhausted way too fast.

    • Austin

      Be that as it may, no one who moved here from somewhere else gets to complain about growth. Not when you are the growth you hate. If you have suggestions for improvement, good ideas, innovations — by all means, trumpet them from the rooftops, but you do not get to complain about a problem of which you are a contributing member.

  3. James Vedic

    Gentrification of Asheville. And now we are losing African-American diversity as we build Eagle Street and the Block. Such a shame.

    • Block

      And this is bad because…?

      Have you actually BEEN on Eagle street and seen how much that place has changed? Yeah, you still have the guys loafing around doing nothing, but at least you don’t feel like “get me out of here”, when it’s only 11 AM.

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