Historic Flatiron building in downtown Asheville up for sale

The historic Flatiron building at Battery Park and Wall Street is listed on real estate site LoopNet, with an asking price of $16 million.

The building, which is on the historic registry, was constructed in the mid 1920s and was purchased last in 1985 by Midtown Development Associates for about $440,000.

The Flatiron has been on the market for about three months, according to the building’s broker, Mike Bryant.

“So, 90 days we’ve been out there, as far as national spotlight goes, and we’ve had some incredible phone calls from people all over that are just loving Asheville,” Bryant said.

But, according to Bryant, they aren’t looking to sell to just anyone. The decision to test the waters of possibly selling came after numerous inquiries.

“Most of the investment groups looking are shifting assets from either the stock market into equities and just want to purchase a piece Asheville, which is definitely tough to do.”

The listing for the property states, “Property current rental CAP rate does not reflect asking price, which is based on highest and best use for redevelopment conversion.”

When asked to clarify what that meant, Bryant said, “Right now, the cost to put a building up in this type of construction runs a few hundred dollars a square foot or more. You look at the BB&T project, by the time they’re done with that, with the purchase, gutting and the upfit it’s incredibly expensive. So, we’re priced very competitively for what is here structurally.”

Russell Thomas, one of the building’s owners and a general manager of the property, said he had no intention of selling to anyone who would make drastic changes.

Bryant echoed that statement when asked about effects to business owners.

“Just sit tight, everything is business as usual. I mean we love it the way it is, and we take care of everybody and we don’t see any reason anybody has to worry about a thing,” Bryant said.

News 13 spoke to a retail shop owner on the building’s first floor who said they felt reassured by the owner’s intention.

But Elizabeth Shell, a co-owner of a Purl’s Yarn Emporium across the street from the building, said she worries anytime a big building in Asheville is put on the market.

“It’s a big space, there’s a lot of businesses in there,” Shell said. “So, definitely would hope that it’s someone local who won’t want to up the rents and who will be concerned about that, but if it’s really expensive they’re going to have to pass that cost along.”

Shell said she’s also worried that if the building changes ownership, the new owner might be open to letting chains replace local shops.

Bryant said so far tenants have had a few questions about the listing but wanted to reassure everyone they expect no major changes.

“Don’t expect to go anywhere. We want you to stay right here. We’re not going to change anything.”

Bryant said if tenants have concerns to reach out to him or the owner by phone.

by Rob Bradley Thursday, March 15th 2018


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Buncombe, Asheville property transfers for Sept. 28-Oct. 4

Sales filed in Buncombe County for Sept. 28-Oct. 4:


» 11 Elmwood Lane, $360,000, Sd South Dakota LLC to Jason L and Cynthia T Phillips

» 9 Stonebridge Drive, $335,000, Sandra L Hoskin Revocable Trust Sandra L Hoskin Trustee to Robert William and Katherine Valentina Miriello

» 10 Edgewood Road E, $310,000, Melodie Meadows and Ralph R Redpath to Mai C and Xamul Vang

» 100 Alpine Ridge Drive, $169,000, Cesare Carboni to Kevin Goldsmith

» 19 Hampstead Road, $550,000, Rebecca J Youle to John B and Arlene J Christiansen

» 288 Unit 10 Macon Ave., $1,450,000, Dwight H and Sue B Emanuelson to David Paul and Bettie Kelley Sousa

» 57 Unit B Broadway St., $775,000, Heather G Edgley and Calvin M Bard to Sartre Partners Ltd

» 445 Lakeshore Drive, $500,000, Robert S Brunk to Bruce F Tompkins

» 50 Hanover St., $240,000, Joanne C Gunter to John Mckinney and Rebecca Chambers

» 50 Blake Drive, $220,000, Martha J Emery to C E Emery Construction Inc

» 186 Courtland Place, $567,500, Eric Scott Zickerman to Ellen A Johnson

» Lot Lot 16B Providence Road, $45,000, Michele A Dutcher and Barbara A Granville to John A and J Blake F Boyd

» 17 Ocaso Drive, $408,000, Norma Jean and Charles E Henson to Paula W and Hilda Martin Harris

» 72 Pebble Creek Drive, $198,500, Marcia H and Van F Meadows to Paul and Judith Foster

» 15 Redwood Road, $400,000, Smith Stephanie H to John and Andree Ramey

» 99 New Leicester Highway, $375,000, Jerry A Lyda to Comito Properties LLC

» 86 Stony Ridge, $744,000, Geoffrey S Fradin Trustee to Jessica Porter

» 11 Druid Drive, $305,000, Mcmaster Real Estate Group LLC to Melissa Jane Banks Living Trust

» 28 Mckinley Ave., $195,000, Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity to Stefan Kirillovich and Nina Mikaylovna Tehnilenco

» 5 Chatham Road, $365,000, Gerald A and Eliazbeth R Beal to Nicholas R Valente and Jonna N Humphries

» 19 Oakwilde Drive, $190,000, Robert C and Betty Lawrence to Julianne Johnson

» 405 Unit 103 Windswept Drive, $439,000, Thomas Michael and Andrea B O‘gorman to Michael Ray Storey

» 21 Unit 601 Battery Park Ave., $875,000, Margaret E and Merritt S Rose Jr to Joel S Levine and Linda Ebin-levine

» 21 Unit 215 Battery Park Ave., $875,000, Margaret E and Merritt S Rose Jr to Joel S Levine and Linda Ebin-levine

» 115 Arco Road, $295,000, John T Labruyere to Sarah Allison Hart and Eric Tryon Morris

» 39 Ambler Road, $290,000, Wm R Henson to Tftd LLC

» 265 Sardis Road, $1,500,000, 231 Sardis LLC to Franklin School Of Innovation Inc

» 103 Morris St., $487,000, Ray R Forsythe to Derek and Sarah H Diluzio

» 74 Baker Place, $338,500, Mary K Bradford and Dennis C Smith II to Robert and Karma Engel

» 218 Patton Ave., $537,500, Homeward Bound Of Asheville Inc to William P and Catherine J Early

» Lot 6 in Nellie Park Revised, Patton Ave., $537,500, Homeward Bound Of Asheville Inc to William P and Catherine J Early

» 24 Rhododendron Drive, $100,000, Becky J Donald to T And J North Carolina Condos LLC

» 11 Dunwood Road, $389,000, Joshua D and Katherine L Lewis to Jeremy and Victoria Ferguson

» 105 Fairview Road, $3,100,000, Asheville Commons LLC to East West Fairview LLC

» 49 Inglewood Road, $266,000, Ellamay A E Byers to Aj Barlow LLC

» 7 Huffman Road, $218,000, Stanley J and Gail R Maggi to Peter E Ashley

» 194 Joyner Ave., $294,000, Brooks and Heather Robinson to Michael L and Rebecca A Wiese

» 185 Unit A8 Macon Ave., $480,000, Sharon E Zellman to Rosemary T Kirkland and Jason D Chambers

» 31 Little Cedar Court, $325,000, Gerhild S Dickerman to Wallace Ray and Beryl B Mack

» 29 Vermont Ave., $315,000, Christine Joellen Dickinson and Jennifer Dickinson Fox to Michael and Lesley A Dickinson

» 153 Bradley St., $285,000, Fiano Properties Inc to Jss Homes, LLC

» 151 Bradley St., $285,000, Fiano Properties Inc to Jss Homes, LLC

» 143 Bradley St., $285,000, Fiano Properties Inc to Jss Homes, LLC

» 43 Unit D15 Vermont Court, $220,000, Vance Martin and Jean Valerie Reese to Jennifer Keeney

» Lot 105 in Ballantree, Ballantree Drive, $145,000, Diane M Duermit to Richard H and Elaine P Bagley

» 3202 Idle Hour Drive, $143,000, Chester Gronke Rev Living Trust Chester Gronke Trustee to Cameron and Hannah Walsh

» 187 Beverly Road, $385,000, Charles B and Bernadette I Cranford to Stephen H and Martha A Ballman

» 189 Beverly Road, $69,000, Charles B and Bernadette I Cranford to Stephen H and Martha A Ballman

» 109 Colony Drive, $105,000, Leslee Jill Poupore to Allyson C Rabiipour

» 212 Wellington St., $368,000, Thomas G and Autumn Myer to Alexander R Wroten and Lindsay M Wolfe-wroten

» 412 Riverview Drive, $85,000, Wnc Homebuyers Alliance LLC to Rio Grande Asset Management LLC

» 14 Woodland Drive, $231,000, Laura Elizabeth Dintsch to Selim Chilaca-coconi and Jonathan Earl Crenshaw

» 745 Pearson Bridge Road, $353,000, Mb Land Investors LLC to Shirley Malter Revocable Trust

» 25 Parkview Drive, $320,000, Abernethy Trust to Elliott and Eva-michelle G Spicer

» 29 Vista St., $374,000, Kristy J Wilson and Phil Hurley to Kimlee Jane and Stephen Rueyjer Kung


» 29 Reaston Ridge, $430,000, Allen and Susan Upson to Brian and Elizabeth Porras

» 1.92 acres on Ebb Burnette Road, $18,000, Vera P and Richard B Jones to Denise M Anthes

» Lot A in Warren G Emory, Ivy Hill Road, $195,000, Warren G Emory to Lillian Renee Sprinkle and Nicholas Lee Mapes

Biltmore Forest

» 382 Vanderbilt Road, $206,500, Olivia Rhodes Woodin Revoc Trust Olivia R & Raye P Woodin Jr Trustee to Biltmore 382 LLC

» 1 Ridgefield Place, $258,500, Hilltop Associates LLC to Andrew T Stephens

» 16 Holly Hill Road, $1,090,000, Kenneth James Clark Jr Md and Anne Clark to Matthew R and Nicole A Baker

Black Mountain

» 6 Hamlet St., $578,000, Karen Denise Tressler to James Roger and Sarah M Cox

» 17 Crockett Ridge Road, $40,000, Patricia L and John C Bennett to Wells Fargo Bank Na

» 1130 Montreat Road, $900,000, Carol A Redmond to Inevitable Grace Inc

» 305 Montreat Road, $175,500, R Melvin and Elizabeth B Keiser to Daniel O Snyder

Broad River

» 672 Mountain Cove Road, $9,500, John F Carroll to Kevin Eugene and Laura Ann Heiderman


» 732 Bryson Road, $286,000, Michael C and Wanda B Tate to Amanda Johannessen and Damian Hugh Hensley Weller

» 370 Reeves Cove Road, $52,500, Ronald J Harayda to Freedom Mortgage Corporation

» 51 Parrot Road, $329,000, Hi Alta Investments LLC to Keith and Carla R Trull

» 5 Whispering Oaks Drive, $272,500, Elizabeth P and Zachary Wilkins to John Clinton and Carla Matthews

» 40 Evelyn Acres, $100,000, John W Mangel to Jolene Elkins

» 25 Youngs Cove Road, $97,000, Doris Ann Coleman Barnett to Clifford Dale Harrin

» 15 Fieldcrest Drive, $228,500, Amanda N Johannessen to Taylor S Mccurry

» 50 Tony Candler Court, $52,500, William R and Rebecca G Candler to Harry Lloyd and Sandra J Wooten

» 15 Mcclellan Drive, $214,500, Brenda Morris to Jill R Samuels

» 154 Starnes Cove Road, $196,000, Sara Loverde to Sarah Mercer Judson

» 55 Bamboo Trail, $35,000, Kimberly Marie White to Murray Welch

» 25 Dynasty Lane, $270,000, Samuel J and Katy R Ingle to Linda Campbell

» 315 Water Rock Terrace, $80,000, Bodystone LLC to Ashley Page and Paul Stebner

» 327 Water Rock Terrace, $80,000, Bodystone LLC to Ashley Page and Paul Stebner

» 142 Stradley Mountain Road, $215,000, Karen F and Marty L Shook to Nicholas A Bragg

» 100 Unit 207 Vista Lake Drive, $145,000, Tht Biltmore Lake LLC to James and Beth Vockley


» 67 Farm View Road, $1,500,000, Gaylon V and Kristi N Owens to Michelle and Phillip Kiser

» 41 Whitaker View Road, $45,000, E M Pettit Jr Revocable Trust to Joshua Aron and Regina Marie Myrick

» 29 Hawks Branch Circle, $818,000, Michael J Haas and Jeffrey W Parker to Richard Francis Blewitt Trust

» 79 Heritage Mountain Place, $100,000, Jeffrey Aaron and Deborah Lynne Nye to Andrew P and Jaymie Schepers

» 148 Olivia Trace Drive, $89,000, Cane Creek Views LLC to Ralph L and Elizabeth J Mcdaniel

» Lot 13 in Fairview Forest, Dogwood Forest Road, $324,000, Warren Mouradian to Tyler and Madeleine Davis Brown

» 110 Dogwood Forest Road, $324,000, Warren Mouradian to Tyler and Madeleine Davis Brown

» 1354 Upper Brush Creek Road, $110,000, Barbara Myron to Todd Lawrence Rhodes

» Lot 2 in Echo Valley Estates, Old Fort Road, $36,000, Betty G Stewart to Eric and Felicita King

» 0.77 acres on Charlotte Highway, $183,500, Christopher L and Kathryn A Edwards to Geoffrey and Megan Ebner

» 1703 Charlotte Highway, $183,500, Christopher L and Kathryn A Edwards to Geoffrey and Megan Ebner


» 39 Horizon Way, $42,000, Kady A and Smantha Adams Ward to Cynthia A Ward

» 7 Pack Saddle Trail, $407,000, Julius K and Melissa W Buckner to Frederick W and Grace S Barker

» Lot Small Pt 5A in Marcia A Buckner, Northstar Trail, $407,000, Julius K and Melissa W Buckner to Frederick W and Grace S Barker

» 11 Coates Court, $210,000, Colin Eric and Krystyna M Mcdonald to Britta M Voight


» 135 S Turkey Creek Road, $2,500, Margaret and Joe R Baker to Joe R and Margaret Baker

» 334 Old Newfound Road, $151,500, William Carroll Rogers to James L Wernhoff Family Trust

» 210 Walnut Brook Drive, $435,000, Mark Lewis and Connie Lewi to Gary and Lynda Donaldson

» 28 Rose Creek Road, $290,000, Joan Mondrick to William S and Peggy J Davis

» 62 Indian Hills Drive, $86,000, Donald A Hall to Anitra Biddix Hollifield

» Lot 33 in Indian Hill, Indian Hills Drive, $86,000, Donald A Hall to Anitra Biddix Hollifield

» 69 Sleepy Forest Drive, $85,000, Michael Odum to Seth Ivan and Elissa Harrison


» 149 Mississippi Road, $337,000, Our Thin Place LLC to Jean David and Morgan E Davies

» 125 Kanawha Drive, $570,000, Karlene A Shea to Clarence Duncan Fouse III and Alice Schaap Freeman

North Buncombe

» 808 New Stock Road, $123,000, Pamela Barnett to Fidel Garcia Rosas and Angela Martinez Mayor

» 70 Goldview Road, $51,500, Sharon and Raymond Moore to Michael Allen and Rosemary Kuykendall Rice

Reems Creek

» 94 Sassafras Gap Road, $260,000, John Stineman to Rocky Beauchane Morris and Jennifer Michelle Flint

» 0.15 acres on Sassafras Gap Road, $260,000, John Stineman to Rocky Beauchane Morris and Jennifer Michelle Flint

» 108 Pink Fox Cove Road, $445,000, Arnold and Sarah R Gnilka to Nan Yao and Nadia Arodak Su


» 34 Lamar Ave., $175,000, Susan Rader to Charles Scott Rader

» 15 Parkway Loop Road, $260,000, Eric W and Bonnie N Johnston to Nastassia Dorota and Evan Athan Pappas


» 8 Indian Place, $275,000, Indian Place LLC to Jenny and Matthew Rawlings

» 6 Woodland Court, $236,000, Corine G Fields to Jacob Alexander and Candice Stover

» 36 Old Farm School Road, $52,000, Joylyne E Lunsford to Robert John Wesphal and Yvette Vanessa Hill


» 15 Fairhaven Court, $128,000, Michael R and Lynda P Fagan to Trace R Erickson

» 73 Airport Road, $610,000, Roundtree LLC to Avl Holdings LLC

» 77 Airport Road, $800,000, Arch Investment Properties LLC to Avl Holdings LLC

» 331 Cedar Lane, $215,500, Thomas Parker Lewis to David Lach Rodgers and Ann Ree Sumner Mithcell

» 46 Stone House Road, $450,000, Angela M and Zoltan Laczko to Mitchell P Fortune and Justin A Crouch

» Lot 3 in Meadows Of Bradley Branch, Glenn Bridge Road, $55,000, N C Closing & Title Services LLC to Walter C and Trisha A Meadows

» Lot 1 in Meadows Of Bradley Branch, Glenn Bridge Road, $55,000, N C Closing & Title Services LLC to Walter C and Trisha A Meadows

» Lot 2 in Meadows Of Bradley Branch, Glenn Bridge Road, $55,000, N C Closing & Title Services LLC to Walter C and Trisha A Meadows

» 3 Trotters Circle, $507,000, Amy B and Charles C Thomas III to Miranda V and Kelly S Debruhl

» 0.02 acres on Surrey Run, $507,000, Amy B and Charles C Thomas III to Miranda V and Kelly S Debruhl

» 23 Sunny Meadows Blvd., $230,000, Bradley Branch Investments LLC to Patrick H Mcgary

» 75 Powder Springs Trail, $206,000, Powder Spring LLC to Lisa M Greene

» 30 Sunny Meadows Blvd., $187,000, Phillip T Scarnecchia to Roger L Wilkerson

» 8 N Fair Oaks Road, $195,000, Crystal N and David M Ryba Jr to Corey M and Cheryl J Brookhouzen

» 25 Sunny Meadows Blvd., $207,000, Bradley Branch Investments LLC to James D and Vicki E Totherow

» 1 Shackleford Drive, $420,000, Charles W Harvey and Diana Metcalf to Joseph Gene Yarkovich and Annelie Crook

» 30 Hallett Court, $178,000, Buchanan Construction LLC to Hilda K Van Hoek

» 7 Walter Morgan Drive, $490,000, Vanessa E Casey and Terry Lee Setzer to Robert Millard Deloach and Erin Looney

» 6 Elkhorn Court, $404,000, Michael Kutyana to Jason Thomas Plafcan and Stephanie Marie Foote

» Lot 8 in High Vista, Laurel Drive, $4,500, Eric N and Meg N Nygren to James P and Sharon D Kurdziel

» 10 Tree Top Drive, $335,000, Anthony Lee and Krista B Penix to Michael A Weston and Rebecca M Gallo

» 53 Foxberry Drive, $209,000, Dmitriy Mamontov and Madina Mamontova to Rachel Hillhouse

» 19 Corkstone Lane, $272,000, Lsf9 Master Participation Trust to Gavin Collin Doran and Breana Lynn Davison

» 614 Blue Mist Way, $100,000, James M Koert Revocable Trust James M Koert (trustee) to Stephan and Tamara Cohen

» 155 Oak Terrace, $124,000, William L Jenkins to Jessie R and Ashelee Holland

» 207 Sleepy Gap Road, $240,000, Jenna Tosi and Christopher Johnson to Adaira Leigh Mcinerney and Benjamin Carl Dofflemyer


» 207 Melody Circle, $100,000, Jenny Robin and William Grant Bodway to Robin Zieber

» 18 Rock Knob Trail, $290,000, Wendell A and Carol P Childs to Ralph Redpath and Melodie Meadows

» 110 Woodcreek Circle, $251,000, Constance H Ucci to Kathleen Marie Galloway

» Lot 16 Thru 19 in Sherwood Forest, Reger Ave., $42,500, Chas F English to Makson Inc

Upper Hominy

» 10 Lower Glady Fork Road, $19,000, Hall/mcclain Irrevocable Trust Deanna H Mcclain Trustee to Randall Lee and Laurie Eva Mathis

» 14 Mac Lane, $135,000, Christian R Jaxtheimer to Gregory Hale and Judith Randolph Jaxtheimer

» 455 Black Oak Cove Road, $295,000, M Michelle and Timothy W Field to Joshua Caleb and Renee N Jenkins

» 45 Lemon Creek Drive, $11,500, Mountain Vista Estates LLC to Marilyn Jane Purple and Scott Alexander Arrington


» 451 Creekside Drive, $213,000, Cynthia S Grady to Ashley Griffin Wineinger

» 34 Hillside St., $50,000, John T and Geraldine C Ray to Roya June Shahrokh

» 1 Gill Road, $3,284,000, Boro At Weaverville LLC to Mdc Coast 7 LLC

» 4 Rhoda Court, $286,000, Rhoda Larsen to Heather Rose Hall

West Buncombe

» 36 Olivette Road, $59,000, Karen Radcliff Payne and Danny B Radcliff to Danny B Radcliff

» 0.12 acres on Olivette Road, $59,000, Karen Radcliff Payne and Danny B Radcliff to Danny B Radcliff

» 5 Tremorra Trail, $28,500, David C Lukoskie to Michael B and Laura N Marks

» 47 Smith Graveyard Road, $130,000, Linda G Lyday (etal) Donna G Melton (etal) to Emily and Arthur Herzog

» 566 Old County Home Road, $175,000, Dennis R Chandley to James E and Judith H Stines

» 0.36 acres on Panorama Drive, $37,000, Douglas Radcliffe Franklin to Eliud Ochoa

» 40 Vinewood Circle, $851,500, Cecil M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» 219 Post Oak Trail, $295,000, Francis J and Monica D Collins to Andrew V Field and Claudia E Fields

» 6 Old NC 20 Highway, $252,000, Billie L Anders to Margo E Eatmon

» Lot 24 in Village Creek West, Christina Court, $36,000, Larry N Bane to Mykola Deynega and Inna Donieva

» 68 N Willow Brook Drive, $282,000, Mark A and Freddie Jean Stoffan to Mark V and Barri E Koval

» 21 Mount Carmel Drive, $186,000, Mary A Narsiff to Betty Parris

» 12 Countryside Drive, $324,500, Lance K Wilson to Keith Michael and Sandra Steele Schorr


» 1 Parkwood Ave., $851,500, Cecil M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» 3 Parkwood Ave., $851,500, Cecil M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» Lot 2 & Pt 1 & 3 in Woodfin Land Co, Rosecrest St., $851,500, Cecil M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» 345 Weaverville Road, $851,500, C M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» 1 Departure Drive, $851,500, C M and Brenda W Ward to Brian James Ward and Carolyn W Hargus

» 446 Old Marshall Highway, $260,000, Corbin and Tammy H Hightower to Bryan Patrick Delaney


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Asheville conference Oct. 7 focuses on economic equality

ASHEVILLE – Self-Help Credit Union will host the third annual “Bringing it Home:  Building a Local Economy for Everyone” conference from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

The conference’s main venue will be the YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market St., with some workshops next door at the Block off Biltmore and at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Connecting the Dots: Working Together Toward a Stronger, More Equitable Local Economy.” The keynote speaker will be Deena Hayes-Greene, managing director of the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro.

Hayes-Greene specializes in trainings that include, according to a press release, “an in-depth analysis of systemic and historically constructed racism and its impact on contemporary systems and institutions across the U.S.”

She was elected to the Guilford County Board of Education in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2016 and also serves on the Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association and the Guilford County Gang Commission, and as board chair at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. She is a former human relations commissioner for the City of Greensboro.

Other workshops include:

• “Money, Money, Money,” with Dr. Joseph Fox, on finding grant money and other sources of revenue for your organization or business.

• “Developing a Successful Built Environment Project,” with a panel of experts in the field discussion how to carry out a large project involving real estate.

• “Our Youth, Our Future,” a panel of people working in organizations working with youth

• Two panels of local business owners who are people of color, one of African-American entrepreneurs, the other of Latino and Latina entrepreneurs.

Marisol Jimenez will open the conference with an interactive activity on “Establishing Group Norms, Common Language.”

Some of the other features will be performances by Word on the Street youth, a travelling exhibit from Duke University on “Trying to Get By. [Not] Making Ends Meet in NC” and networking sessions in which folks will be able to meet and interact with people who are engaged in both similar and different work.

The exhibit “Courage, Truth, Change: Inspiring and Engaging Youth Through Art and Story,” which features portraits of several local youth leaders, will also be on exhibit at the YMI during the conference.

Child care and transportation within the city limits are available, if requested in advance with registration. The event is free and open to the public, with registration available on a first-come, first-served basis at bringingithomewnc.org. Breakfast and lunch will be served by a “Cornucopia of Caterers,” featuring several local businesses owned by people of color.

Free parking will be available at the corners of Spruce and Marjorie streets or at the bottom of the hill, at the corner of Market and S. Charlotte streets. To learn more, contact Jane Hatley at 828-239-9231, ext. 3473.

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Asheville candidate forum: Dozen give stances as early voting nears

, jburgess@citizen-times.com Published 4:07 p.m. ET Sept. 19, 2017 | Updated 12:47 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2017

A quick primer on Asheville’s government and which council members are and aren’t running this fall.

ASHEVILLE — City Council candidates looking to survive the Oct. 10 primary and win a slot the general election met for one of their last times together Monday.

At a forum put on by UNC Asheville’s Student Government Association, the 12 staked out positions on housing, the meaning of Confederate monuments, tourism and other issues.

Among the candidates are two incumbents as well as seven who are running for the first time. Five of the dozen are women. There are also two African-American candidates, Dee Williams and Sheneika Smith; two Asian-American candidates Pratik Bhakta and Vijay Kapoor; and a Jewish candidate, Jeremy Goldstein.

Early primary voting starts Thursday. Voters get to choose three, plus a mayoral candidate. The top six council candidates move on to the Nov. 7 general election along with the top two mayoral candidates. The ultimate winners fill three council seats along with the mayor’s position. Here’s a forum synopsis:

Personal statements and priorities

Kim Roney: A “piano teacher, service industry worker and activist.”

“I’m running because Asheville is at a critical turning point. And We need courageous leaders as brave as the people of Asheville.”

Priorities include affordability and “putting the peoples’ voice in front of decision making” on development, childcare, education, environmental and race and equity issues.

Andrew Fletcher: A musician whose “feet are in the trenches of the tourism industry” and sees the “good and the bad” there.

Says Asheville could lose its culture while it invests in the “tourism-based economy.”

“We’re turning the short buck and losing the long dollar.”

Gwen Wisler (incumbent): City’s vice mayor who said in her first term she’s “been working for a safe, vibrant, healthy and accessible Asheville.”

“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done for the last four years and I hope to continue that…We still have a lot of work to do, but I think we’re making some great progress.”

Dee Williams: “There is a tale of two cities. We’ve got people who live really well. Then we have a divide. People of color and poor people who do not live so well.”

A former concrete and road construction contractor, said she’s the only candidate setting up a land trust for permanent affordable housing.

Said she convinced Mission Health to pay living wages for its thousands of employees and to remove “the box” about criminal history on applications.

An Asheville native, she grew up as an orphan and now wants to spend her time helping others.

Pratik Bhakta: A hotelier who said “the hotel industry has gotten a bad rap in the media — but I am part of that hotel industry.”

As a business owner, said he would push for fiscal responsibility in city budgets. Affordability depends on it, he said.

“We have to look at the revenues coming in and the expenses going out and if one exceeds the other then we’re doing something wrong.

Jeremy Goldstein: 19-years resident, lives in Haw Creek with four sons in Asheville City Schools and a wife, an attorney at Van Winkle Law Firm.

“Quite simply I’m running to help preserve and protect our quality of life, the very reason we moved here.”

Small business owner (real estate investment company) who created his job and has experience helping businesses and developers navigate rules and open businesses and build projects. Has been on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission six years and the chairman for four and is “intimately” familiar with important development rules. No council members have been on the commission, he said.

Cecil Bothwell (incumbent): “The thing that drives me the most in my life broadly is climate change. We really need to address that at every turn.”

Two-term councilman said he went off the grid with solar power in 1979. His efforts led to the city having the nation’s second electric police car, he said, along with single-stream recycling and new LED street lights to save $365,000 a year and cut coal use. He is now pushing for more fuel-efficient police vehicles.

Despite Asheville’s highly recognized efforts to encourage lower-cost housing, a free bus system expanded beyond city limits would better boost affordability, he said.

Vijay Kapoor: Former attorney, now economic consultant for cities. A father of two, ages, 3 and 6.

“I want to make sure that each resident goes to sleep each night feeling safe, fed, healthy and valued.”

The council should be “laser focused” on needs of residents and neighborhoods, deal better with development and growth and diversify the local economy to reduce dependence on “real estate and tourism.”

Said he’s concerned about lack of good pay for young people. Green jobs and those addressing climate change should be a priority.

Adrian Vassallo: Moved to Asheville 12 years ago to work as accountant for locally founded Dixon Hughes Goodman.

Held leadership positions with Asheville Downtown Association, Downtown Commission, WCQS (now BPR). Now board treasurer for LEAF. Has run United Way campaigns and volunteered with Eblen, Elida and MANNA and is involved with his church Trinity Episcopal downtown.

“So, I’ve always been involved in the community working on projects.”

One of the first was a partnership between Jackson Park Neighborhood Association, the city and UNC Asheville, he said, to put a sidewalk on Edgewood Road. Wants to continue that kind of “back to basics” work on safety, infrastructure maintenance and planning.

Sheneika Smith: Fourth-generation Asheville native, graduated in 1996 from Asheville High and “like most young people” left to pursue education, career and family.

Returned in 2011 and saw how city had become a high-profile regional economic leader.

“One of the richest cities in Western North Carolina but our community development had been misdirected.”

Works for Green Opportunities with job training for unemployed and under-employed people, and is “in the community daily.”

Said she would focus on job creation, neighborhood revitalization, living wages and home ownership.

Rich Lee: A 20-year resident, Western Carolina “Catamount,” parent and “advocate for healthy neighborhoods.” Also a financial advisor with a socially-responsible investment practice, he said.

Running to advance issues “I’ve been working on for years: Making Asheville a safe and easy place to get around, keeping the feel of a genuine, authentic, artistic, working small town full of unique, eclectic neighborhoods and people; and protecting the diversity of Asheville’s population from gentrification and from the problems of being a tourism-based economy.”

A member of city’s multi-model transportation commission and greenway committee. Past board member of Bountiful Cities Project and member of Just Economics’ policy advocacy committee.

Jan (Howard) Kubiniec: 30-year resident of Kenilworth community. Past president and board member of Kenilworth Residents Association and “formative member” of Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods.

Retired school teacher who said she did some work with city schools and volunteered as a court guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children.

Said from her home on Beaucatcher Mountain she sees problems with sustainable growth and disparity between rich and poor.

“I would like to look and see if all of our children are getting a free and appropriate education out of the public schools. I see that as the way out of the embedded poverty.”

(Note: The council doesn’t fund schools, but appoints the board for Asheville City Schools)


Kubiniec: Moderate tourism advertising. (Note: The council doesn’t control the $17.5 million in hotel taxes used to boost tourism.)

Lee: Require new large commercial buildings on main corridors to have housing on top. Give low-interest loans for basement apartment construction, tax breaks to small landlords.

Smith: Better education, look to other cities for ideas. Consider rent controls.

Vassallo: Density bonuses for developers. Come up with a plan for using city-owned land. No need for “land banking” more without a plan.

Kapoor: No need to incentivize development, use city’s desirability as leverage with developers, focus on density and good-paying jobs.

Bothwell: City shouldn’t focus on building below-market-rate housing. Instead extend bus lines outside city where housing is cheaper.

Goldstein: Depoliticize building rules and make it easier to build in “urban core.” Don’t promote growth outside city.

Bhakta: Maintain ban on short-term rentals for tourists in residentially-zoned areas.

Williams: Focus on poorest neighborhoods. Use zoning for community benefits, such as guarantees by businesses to pay living wages.

Wisler: Don’t push lower-income residents outside city. Use zoning to leverage living wages and other community benefits.

Fletcher: Partially lift ban on short-term rentals. Regulate the tourist rentals with neighborhood input.

Roney: Create zoning rule that developers include below-market-rate housing along with regular units. (Note: Such “inclusionary” zoning has faced legal challenges in the state.)

Vance Monument and race issues

Roney: Remove all monuments, engage with minority leaders and look to the city-county African-American Heritage Commission for guidance.

Fletcher: Remove Vance Monument and put it at Vance Birthplace. Replace it with something more reflective of city. Listen to groups, such as Black Lives Matter on policy recommendations.

Wisler: City is forming a Human Relations Commission to help advise on racial issues. Encourage and promote that group.

Williams: Don’t focus on symbols, such as monuments. Try to fix things such as educational achievement gap.

Bhakta: Don’t remove the monument, but use for education, as reminder of past wrongs.

Goldstein: Repurpose or rededicate the monument. We need to be reminded of past hatred and atrocities.

Bothwell: Take down Confederate monuments, which are monuments to traitors and symbols used by white supremacists. Vote for new legislators in charge of General Assembly.

Kapoor: Remove smaller monuments and rededicate Vance Monument. Focus on police relations with black residents, getting officers to interact more with communities.

Vassallo: Support the human relations council when it is formed and makes decisions on issues such as monument. Focus on economic issues, helping feed children, for example.

Smith: Symbols are important. Remove monument and put at Vance Birthplace.

Lee: Remove the monument. Push for bigger equity issues, looking at minority representation on city boards and business ownership.

Kubiniec: Don’t focus on monument. Look to government and social institutions, such as black churches, to help with economic issues and fight institutional racism.

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Asheville City Council to look at Shiloh subdivision

With a relatively light agenda for its Sept. 12 meeting, Asheville City Council will dive back into discussion of a proposed single-family subdivision in the Shiloh community and will tackle a proposal to ease the parking crunch downtown by allowing temporary gravel lots.

Council will also consider a proclamation declaring Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.

Consent agenda

Items Council will consider as part of its consent agenda include:

  • A resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract with Sam Schwartz Consulting LLC to provide consulting and engineering services on the design of the Interstate 26 Connector project as well as a budget amendment to use $200,000 from the city’s capital improvement program to fund the contract.
  • A resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into an agreement with Tindale Oliver for development of a transit master plan. The city will pay $24,000 for the plan development, its required matching portion of a $120,000 federal grant for the project.
  • The adoption of a Section 3 policy within the city’s Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs. Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood improvement and individual self-sufficiency by providing job training, employment and contracting opportunities for low- and very low-income residents in their neighborhoods.
  • Authorization for the Asheville Police Department to apply for a $54,574 grant through the Department of Justice. The funds would be used to create a task force of police officers to deter and interrupt violent crimes.
  • An ordinance to change the speed limit on several roads to 25 miles per hour.

Public hearings

A public hearing will be held to discuss conditional zoning for a proposed 20-home development in the Shiloh community, which lies between Hendersonville and Sweeten Creek roads just south of Interstate 40. Mountain Housing Opportunities is requesting conditional zoning to reduce the minimum lot size from 5,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet and minimum lot width from 50 feet to 40 feet.

The hearing is a continuation from the Aug. 22 meeting. At that time, discussion centered on a strip of open space that would be created through an easement across privately owned parcels. Council members asked the applicant who would be responsible for maintaining that property and managing its stormwater system. Norma Baynes of the Shiloh Community Association indicated that the group needed to more closely consider whether it would be willing to take on that role.

For its second public hearing of the evening, City Council will discuss whether to allow temporary gravel parking lots in the Central Business District. Currently, parking lots in the CBD must be paved, and temporary parking lots are only allowed for construction staging and when in connection with an active building permit. The proposal would allow temporary gravel lots to help ease parking congestion and to provide a path to compliance for lots that have already been put in place without approval.

“The lack of monthly parking for downtown residents and workers has reached a critical level of concern,” states a staff memo on the amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance. The Downtown Commission reviewed the idea at its April, May and June meetings, when members expressed the view that the plan doesn’t encourage the use of property for surface parking beyond a limited time period; they urged the city to continue to explore a more permanent solution. In August, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the proposal while pointing out that loose gravel could affect stormwater drainage and that allowing temporary lots might interfere with the creation of a more robust and long-term parking plan.

A public hearing is also planned to receive public comments on the proposed limited obligation bond financing for capital projects and acquisitions. In August, Council passed a resolution authorizing the city to refinance a portion of the 2016 limited obligation bond ($18 million), refinance all or a portion of the currently outstanding 2012 LOBs ($11.7 million), and make application to the Local Government Commission of up to $31.2 million limited obligation refunding bonds. Council will also allow the public to give feedback on a plan to apply to the commission for up to $20 million in special obligation bonds.

Limited and special obligation bonds are forms of municipal borrowing that do not require voter approval through a referendum but must be the subject of a public hearing. Unlike general obligation bonds, which are secured by the municipality’s future tax revenue, limited obligation bonds use real estate as collateral for the loan; special obligation bonds use anticipated municipal revenues from sources other than taxes (for example, license and permitting fees).

Council will also consider assigning a zoning designation of highway business district to a 1.26-acre property at 421 Airport Road that the city annexed in June and on which a commercial building is currently under construction.

Unfinished business

Council will decide which candidates it will interview for the Planning and Zoning Commission.

New business

Council will consider which candidates to interview for spots on the Affordable Housing Committee, Recreation Board and Tourism Development Authority.

Public comment

Council will hear comment from members of the public on items not previously discussed on Council’s agenda.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 70 Court Plaza, Asheville. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.

For more of the latest city and county news, check out Xpress’ Buncombe Beat.

via https://mountainx.com/news/asheville-city-council-to-look-at-shiloh-subdivision/ Posted on  

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