No rewind for Asheville

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

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6 thoughts on “No rewind for Asheville

  1. travelah

    Ms Klein, Parkside is geared toward providing for people just like yourself, Florida transplants who having flocked here are themselves part of the problem. Whole mountain sides have been “eroded” to make room for you and your fellow Floridians (I don’t refer to you as a Flor-idiot because the term itself is somewhat idiotic). Now, Parkside is a poor use of that resource but it is going to go somewhere because there is a demand for expensive condos from people from Florida and elsewhere who have excess equity to spend. It is unfortunate that the local people here generally cannot afford what is being built all over these mountains so that you can call this place “home”.

  2. Unit

    Another ridiculous and unproductive comment from the above. Go ahead, blame the individuals for the collective harm that’s come from Buncombe County’s refusal to plan for them.

    Marjorie, your heart is in the right place; what I think you are missing is that the City has little legal ability to stop this. Since the County gave away the park to a developer, the developer has rights under the existing laws to develop his property. The City can’t just take that away. In case you’re new here, this isn’t the first, and it will not be the last time Buncombe County screwed the City. In fact, you can almost set your watch by it.

  3. nuvue

    Parkside will also be inhabited by people from….say New orleans or other hurricane prone areas.
    Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s I would have starved if it were not for the florida transplants.
    Growth is Growth, she was just saying smart growth is better and don’t set another wrong precedent. We all gotta eat and survive.

  4. travelah

    nuvue, the only people out of New Orleans that will live in these condos are those who can afford it and wish to move to a cooler climate. It will certainly not be a new housing shelter for displaced residents fleeing hurricanes.

    Managed growth is good but complaining about the same growth that afforded one to live here strikes me as hypocritical.

  5. bobaloo

    Parkside will be inhabited by millionaires, if the starting price is $900,000, as reported.

    I’m not opposed to upscale condos, but let’s not fool ourselves as to who it’s being built for.

  6. david

    “It will certainly not be a new housing shelter for displaced residents fleeing hurricanes.”

    It might be in a few years if/when the economy completely implodes.

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