There is no “one” answer

If you do not want a building across from the St. Lawrence Basilica that will produce income for the city and its residents for years to come, but instead would like a park that would cost the city (planning, building, maintaining, securing and insuring), then take some of your time dedicated to the subject to coming up with — should I say it? — a compromise. No, I do not have the "one" answer on this subject. It's just the one side or the other attitude that I address.

While thinking about the fact that I, too, would prefer a park. I tried to imagine the costs associated with it, as well as how much the city would lose in revenue for the future.

Perhaps a park that would produce an income, at least to off set its expenses, would be best? Maybe something similar to what the Grove Arcade has outside? A place where locals could pay a fee and market their goods and services. Maybe not-for-profits could have fund raising events for a nominal fee? Maybe it could be rented for weddings? Maybe install solar panels and rain retention to offset utility expenses (perhaps one of the local solar companies would install at little or no cost)? Maybe form an organization the applies for grants and does private fundraising to pay for the project, giving all those a place to put their money where there mouths are? I doubt that all this would compare to the tax revenue produced by a building though.

Like I said, I don't have the "one" answer on this subject. I just would encourage all who are passionate about this to help come up with "all" the answers, not just "one.”

One more thing: Thank you to the City Council for your time and efforts. I'm sure it's got to be frustrating for you to always hear objections rather than solutions from one side then the other. My community elected you. I support your informed decision on this matter. I know none of you take this lightly.

— Kent Joines

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2 thoughts on “There is no “one” answer

  1. indy499

    The lead proponents of a parc (pun intended) live in the area, want their personal views preserved and want a convenient park (which even Cecil admits we can’t afford to keep up)that is primarily paid for by others.

    The other opponents of the hotel proposal are, big surprise, other hoteliers. Just like the food truck debate, some in this town think they can dictate whether they get more competition. Hopefully, things won’t turn out that way. Another hotel downtown might get some of the largest opponents, eg, The Renaissance, off their very high price points that have soared in recent years.

    The current eyesore should have been developed years ago and probably would have been, but for the collapse in 2008. Time to proceed.

  2. bsummers

    The lead proponents of a parc (pun intended) live in the area, want their personal views preserved and want a convenient park

    And you know this how?

    A park in that area could very well lead to more economic growth for the city than just another hotel. An iconic, open view of the Basilica with a park in the foreground, and hillsides behind, would be one more scene that gets photographed and reproduced for generations, promoting Asheville as a unique and beautiful spot in the mountains. Contrast that with the view of yet another canyon-like urban landscape no different from Atlanta or Charlotte or etc. Yawn.

    It will be a selling point for every other business in that part of town – think of the increased traffic for area cafes and restaurants whose customers can visit a beautiful relaxing park before, during or after dining. Think of the new businesses that could spring up as the area around the park becomes a second Pack Square-level attractor.

    Short-term revenue through yet another highrise, or long-term sewing of seeds that will cause the economy to grow & flourish even more for generations? Let’s hope our City Council takes the time to pick wisely.

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