A miserable place to live

The Parkside condominium building planned by developer Stewart Coleman is obviously a bad idea (and a dirty and possibly illegal deal), in regard to the continued use and beauty of our public green space in downtown Asheville, and much comment has been made about this. I need to add to that discussion another obvious truth: The building’s location is also a miserable site for residences.

The building will not be beside a park, but squeezed up against a busy (and noisy) assembly square. The building should be named the “Amphitheater-side” condos, and unless the plans include soundproof construction, who is going to be happy living there? I can imagine that the convenience of the location to the limited schedule of Shindig-on-the-Green performances may seem like a quaint and special selling point, and the ability to purchase front-row seats to Asheville’s occasional city fireworks displays may fool some poor saps into thinking it will be a spectacular location for a home.

But the former City/County Plaza was a much busier and noisier spot than indicated by just those events, and once the new stage and amphitheater-shaped landscaping [make it] usable again, you can bet that the people of Asheville and Buncombe County are going to be there in droves to use it. Rallies, revivals, concerts, protests, celebrations: I can’t wait to get back out to the green with a couple thousand of my favorite neighbors, can you? Coleman may claim that the noise will not reach the upper floors of the mixed-use building, where the residences will be, but I have easily heard noise from events on the Plaza reach every floor of the Renaissance Hotel (blocks from the site, not ringside) and also reach to the top of the south side of Chestnut Hill (about a half-mile away).

This plan is a disaster [for] everyone except the developer, who is eager to sell a pig in a poke. Don’t buy it.

— Sylvia Organ

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