To First Bank, regarding the Downtown Market

The Neighborhood Associations of South French Broad Avenue and West End Clingman Avenue respectfully request that you reconsider your plan to foreclose on the building located at 45 S. French Broad Ave. and consider negotiation of other options that preserve and support the unique mix of neighborhood uses. The opening of the Downtown Market by the current owners was welcomed by all of us who had seen this building unoccupied for some time. As you know this building currently houses businesses that serve our local residents … along with booths of local Appalachian artists, craftsman, antique dealers and so forth. All of these businesses provide valuable services to our adjoining neighborhoods and make an impact on the greater Asheville area as well as attract tourists to the area.

A stop at the Downtown Market is now a daily routine for many of us because of its central location, which is in walking or biking distance for those who do not own automobiles out of choice or circumstance. Its presence has enlivened and improved South French Broad Avenue and adjoining streets. The Market was a good adaptive re-use of an older industrial building and to have it once again become dark and unoccupied is a most distressing outcome for all of us to envision.

The loss of this community enterprise during this point in our national economic downturn seems to be an unnecessary and untimely occurrence that could further weaken our local economy and our neighborhoods.  Again, we ask you to consider options other than foreclosure and allow these valuable businesses to remain open for business to serve our residents.

— Michael Johnson and Pattiy Torno

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