Hal Millard’s article “Haywood Park Project Clears First Hurdle” [“The Buzz,” July 9] was such a brief overview of the coming train wreck in downtown Asheville that I was left frustrated and wanting more. I am a Haywood Street merchant already adversely impacted by the dramatically increased rent charged by Mr. Fraga’s FIRC, and by the unsettling effect of the Miami developer’s plans for the whole area.
The public simply has no idea of the impending changes underway in the name of big money, and how those plans will forever affect Asheville. Out-of-town visitors and locals alike love downtown’s quirky, independent flavor as reflected by the many small businesses, galleries and restaurants engaged in lively commerce. The inevitable high rents brought on by Mr. Fraga’s out-of-scale development will favor the corporate chains with deep pockets and homogenized offerings.
I beg Mountain Xpress to take time to research a deeper look at the possible future we face in downtown Asheville. Talk with the people at Malaprop’s, Ariel Gallery, The Chocolate Fetish and Earth Guild, as well as some of the thousands of tourists who come here because they love the unique flavor Asheville has to offer. Do we really want to be just another Charlotte or Greensboro?
— David Scott