I am what some here call a Flor-idiot, but I was smart enough to leave Miami before it imploded. Reckless development has sunk real-estate values deeper than the pilings upon which even more condos are being built.
I see Asheville on the brink of this madness with Stewart Coleman and his claim on Pack Square Park for his Parkside project. This kind of egregious takeover and political cave-in happened in Miami, and I see it happening here. Sideswiping the wishes of George Pack’s family, Buncombe County allowed this to happen. But there is hope: the Asheville City Council members. If they do the honorable thing and don’t favor a developer driven entirely by self-interest, then my faith in this city will be restored.
I moved to Asheville thinking that things were different here. I hope I was right. Rejecting this project is not rejecting growth and progress. Development—thoughtful, planned development—is essential in a place that attracts newcomers seeking the lifestyle that our city offers. This is a watershed moment for Asheville. If Parkside is built, it sets the stage for the next erosion of our magnificent cityscape. Once it’s done, it’s done. You don’t get to rewind.
— Marjorie Klein