Friday, December 23, 2016

Riverfront Redevelopment in 2016

2016 brings the beginning of 3 years of ~$50 million dollars worth of infrastructure projects that will transform the AVL Riverfront from Hill Street & Riverside down to Amboy & Lyman with a new roadway, sidewalks, greenways, bike lanes, a visitor center with public bathrooms, some new round-a-bouts, etc.... under the moniker of RAD TIP or the Greater River Arts District Redevelopment so is a map of the plans as of 12/23/16 on the City of Asheville's website.

In addition, we hear that RAD LOFTS (~$50 million dollar private development with 200+ apartments, retail & parking deck) goes for its final approval to City Council in January 2017 with hopes to break ground summer 2017.

12 Bones Smokehouse is moving down Lyman Street to behind Riverview Station.  The last day open at the original location is January 6th, 2017 and it will re-open February 1, 2017 along side The Wedge Brewery's location #2! find them both @ 5 Foundy Street.

Please welcome North Carolina Glass CenterSTEAM Studios, & Cheap Joe's Art Supply, all  housed @ River Arts Makerts Place (RAMP) Studios @ 821 Riverside Drive... in what is proving to be an ever expanding River Arts District.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Riverfront Redevelopment in 2015

95 Roberts Street from the track side of the building

Joel Burgess of the Asheville Citizen Times did a Sunday front page article about the AVL Riverfront that is a great description of most of the projects currently in play.  The bits he missed include the historic renovation of 95 Roberts Street (due to be completed 2016 - 2017), The Smoky Park Supper Club, The AVL Food (truck) Park & Market and The Smoky Mountain Adventure Center all planning to open by summer 2015.

Smoky Park Supper Club getting its deck @ 318 Riverside Drive

Smoky Mountain Adventure Center on Amboy Road

AVL Food Park & market will be home to food trucks right across from Carrier Park @ Amoby & State Streets

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Belgium Tanks Arrive

Pre dawn, March 14, 2015 saw the start of a train of "elephants", like we used to see walk uptown from the AVL Riverfront back in day, when the circus came to town.  This time the "elephants" were in the form of stainless steel fermentation & bright tanks, on up to 127 foot long tractor trailers, arriving @ 91 Craven Street, the new home of the New Belgium Asheville Brewery.  Over the next 4 days, 30 tanks arrived in convoys of two or 4 at a time... the final tank being set in place on March 18, 2015.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AARRC 2014 Annual Retreat

The Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission held its 2014 Annual Retreat on Tuesday, June 3, 2014. We started @ the Green Sage Cafe in Westgate… Thanks to the CVB for our breakfast! and to Randy Tally for hosting our morning map session. The Grey Line Trolley carried us around to get an overview of progress @ New Belgium Asheville Brewery… then we toured up to Woodfin and back down to the French Broad River Park where we met up with Jason Walls of Duke Energy to walk the new French Broad Connector Greenway land and had lunch provided by the City of Asheville & Laurey's Catering. We surveyed progress on Amboy Road of the Smoky Mountain Adventure Center… then pulled into the parking lot @ the Wedge Brewery to hop on some electric bikes and cruise up Clingman (wow, was that ever easy!) to look at the Clingman Forest Greenway and then back down to hear from Harry Pilos about progress on his RAD Lofts project. Our last stop was 233 Riverside Drive to hear from Kristie Quinn about the Smoky Park Supper Club & Eric Bradford from Greenworks… and our afternoon 2015 ++ visioning session followed by a social happy hour with refreshments provided by the City of Asheville & CURVE studios & garden… Wow, that was a full informative day! Much appreciation to Paul Black of the MPO.. his insights were most helpful! See more photos @on FB @ AVL Riverfront.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Strive Not To Drive Leadership Ride 2014

Special thanks to Asheville on Bikes for bringing focus to the AVL Riverfront during its 2014 Strive Not To Drive Community Leadership Ride… below you can read the 14 point recommendations made by Transit guru, Gil Penalosa, on how St. Paul (substitute Asheville NC) can join the ranks of Paris, Vancouver and Melbourne, Australia, as one of the world's top cities!

14. Make St. Paul great for 8- and 80-year-olds
The young and the old -- along with the poor -- are the "indicator species" in an urban environment because they are the most vulnerable. Redesign our city to keep them safe, healthy and happy, and we'll have a place that works well for everyone.
13. Develop a sense of urgency to make Things better
One of the Twin Cities' biggest problems, Penalosa pointed out, is that things have been pretty good here for a long time. That spawns complacency, which is a serious hindrance in a highly competitive age where change happens fast.
12. Put pedestrians first
"Walking adds the spice to a city, and we don't like a spice-less city any more than we like pasta without sauce." Every trip begins and ends with walking -- we are all pedestrians.
11. Make biking and walking utterly normal
"We need to think of walking and biking as a basic human right," which should be safe, easy and pleasurable for everyone. Start by lowering traffic speeds, giving walkers/bikers a 5-second head start at traffic lights and building crosswalks with "safety islands" in the middle of the street. Let more people bike by building a network of protected bikeways, separated from auto traffic.
10. No traffic deaths by 2025
"In the U.S., 100,000 people are hit by cars every year and 4,000 die." For too long traffic deaths of all kinds have been accepted as inevitable, but now Chicago and New York City are leading the push for zero deaths by taking serious steps to make streets safer.
9. Remember that planning for transportation and land use are the same thing
"Plan a city around cars and you get more cars. Plan a city around people and you get more health and happiness."
8. Focus on making St. Paul great in everything you do
The world's leading authorities on St. Paul are the people who live here -- local leaders should draw upon their expertise about how to make the city great in everything that happens around town. "But remember if you wait for 100 percent approval, you'll never get anything done," Penalosa reminds.
7. Embrace winter
But don't use it an excuse for why things can't be better. "You have 15 horrible days a year and another 30 that are pretty bad. But you have 200 good days. Plan to make the most of those days and the bad days won't be so bad."
6. Become more inclusive
Penalosa admitted that after a number of visits to the Twin Cities, he sometimes thinks he's in Scandinavia. "Every one is blond and blue-eyed at some of the meetings. Then I go to Central High School or the Lake Street light rail station and I see many blacks and other visible minorities." It's crucial that more people are involved in the conversation about making a better future, he says.
5. Attract the Millennial Generation
Penalosa warned that our future is in peril because more Millennials are leaving the Twin Cities than are coming here. "A great city needs to attract and keep the best young people -- the best doctors, the best carpenters, the best musicians, the best in all fields. You should wake up every day thinking up ways to do that." He noted that building more highways and shopping malls will not do the job -- this generation is far less likely to have drivers' licenses or own cars than previous ones.
4. Keep Baby Boomers here
Older adults today are healthier, wealthier, and better educated than at any time in history, and have much to offer our communities. But we must take their needs into account in designing our cities. "Not everyone is 30 and athletic."
3. Shift your aspirations from "good enough" to great
The cities that will lead the world in the future are not making small plans today. "Copenhagen has 38 percent bicyclists but are aiming for 50 percent. Seoul, Korea, covered up a river to build a double-deck freeway but then tore it down to create a park. Vancouver vows to the be world's most sustainable city -- not the best in Canada, or in North America but in the world."
2. Compare yourself to the world's best
It's not outlandish that St. Paul and Minneapolis could be seen as two of the great cities around the globe. "Transformation often happens very fast. Thirty years ago no one would have ranked Melbourne, Australia, as one of the top 400 cities in the world," Penalosa explains. "Even the local newspaper described its downtown as an 'empty, useless city center.' Now many of us think it's one of the top four or five cities." What happened? A concerted effort across the community to enliven the downtown, add more parks and more public spaces.
1. Tackle a big goal

Mayor Coleman is taking Penalosa's advice to heart. For too long we've thought of ourselves as "pretty darn good here," Coleman says -- it's time to make a bolder statement about who we are and where we are going.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Azalea Road / Lake Craig Project Construction

Things are happening along the Swannanoa River. The river banks adjacent to Azalea Road and Gashes Creek road are undergoing a makeover that will not only ease one stream bank at the City of Asheville’s Recreation Park, but will also relocate a section of the Swannanoa to have less impact during high water events. Since December, heavy earth moving equipment has been visible making changes to the landscape in the area that will greatly improve multimodal park access and safety. Click link for more info on the Lake Craig / Azalea Road Flood Management Project.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New Belgium Brewery Groundbreaking

New Belgium Brewery Asheville announces its GroundBreaking Celebration for  Friday, May 2, 2014 @ The Grey Eagle @ 175 Clingman Avenue in the ARAD.  Doors open @ 7pm. Music: Dave Earl & The Plowshares, starts @ 8pm.  Tickets are free but must be picked up in person (to keep this event as local as possible) @ The Grey Eagle Box Office or Harvest Records, starting March 17, 2014.  Limit of 4 tickets per person… thanks!