How did Xpress readers process all the local news and changes this year? Here’s a look at the topics that generated the most commentaries, letters to the editor and online comments in Xpress in 2019.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to meet several of its goals with one carefully crafted development project.”
On Friday, Sept. 6, said Council member Julie Mayfield, the city will hold an affordable housing work session to explore options such as tiny homes and housing voucher acceptance for long-term rentals. Mayfield also announced that Council plans to discuss whether the city should temporarily ban new hotels in the city during its Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday, Aug. 29.
“The creativity of our small city enthralled the people from the North and South. But soon the starving artists had to move away themselves because they no longer could live here.”
At Asheville City Council’s June 25 meeting, Council member Julie Mayfield flipped on her previous opposition to the project, joining Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler and Vijay Kapoor to complete a majority vote that allowed the rezoning of the historic building for hotel use.
Mayor Esther Manheimer will be governing from afar during the June 25 meeting of Asheville City Council.
Updated Flatiron proposal to return to City Council Developer Philip Woollcott and building owner Russell Thomas will make another appearance in front of Asheville City Council members on Tuesday, June 25, to gain approval for an updated version of the Flatiron Building project. The original plan would have converted the building into an 80-room boutique […]
Around 100 people attended Asheville City Council’s nearly five-hour meeting on March 14, during which 27 speakers declared both resistance and support for the conversion of the Flatiron Building into a hotel.
“I understand that we’re not supposed to stand in the way of progress, but is a downtown that serves tourists at the expense of residents the progress we want? When is enough enough?”
After an unexpected delay on April 23, Council members will have the final say on the rezoning of the historic structure at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 14.
From now through the end of the year, 465 new rooms are expected to join the nearly 8,000 already operating in Buncombe County. With many more approved and under construction in 2020 and beyond, just keeping track of what is being built where and by whom is no small challenge.
The total cost of those buses, according to a city staff report, would be approximately $1.5 million, of which Asheville would contribute $225,000 in matching funds. Some members of the public commented that the switch from battery-electric to hybrid buses represented a step backward in the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
“It appears by the article in the paper that changing to a hotel will be hurting many small businesses as they ‘close’ in the Flatiron Building. That is a real loss to Asheville.”
On Feb. 21, 1927, Asheville residents celebrated the arrival of the city’s first local radio station.
Citing unresolved questions about parking and a planned bike lane for Battery Park Avenue, the TRC continued its review until more information is available. The proposed 80-room hotel will likely come before the board again on Monday, Feb. 4, then face a hearing at the Downtown Commission on Friday, Feb. 8, followed by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, March 6.
In place of its current small business and retail tenants, the Flatiron Building could play host to overnight guests as an 80-room hotel. Owner Russell Thomas and Charleston, S.C.-based developer Philip Woollcott say lodging use is the only business model able to support extensive needed renovations to the historic structure.
More and more of Asheville’s downtown dwellers are finding creative ways to use their urban spaces for growing food. Russell Thomas, owner of the Flatiron Building, tells Xpress how he and his staff are converting the rooftop of the historic building into a hydroponic and raised-bed garden that is a source of both veggies and renewable energy for the building and its businesses.