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Asheville leaders want to shape the future of South Slope area

The city of Asheville wants to create a long-term vision for the South Slope -- an up-and-coming area roughly bordered by Hilliard, Biltmore, Southside and Asheland avenues near downtown. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The city of Asheville wants to create a long-term vision for the South Slope -- an up-and-coming area roughly bordered by Hilliard, Biltmore, Southside and Asheland avenues near downtown.

Once the plan is drafted, it will be presented to city council for adoption. Staff will then work with the community to implement the community's vision for the South Slope.

The South Slope visioning process will kick off with a meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at The Refinery, 207 Coxe Ave.

City officials want to get word to local retailers and residents that they want their input, planning ahead even as property owners are already planting their own stakes in the ground.

Growth is evident on the streets and corridors in the rapidly emerging South Slope area.

Among the new businesses is Ann Lea's Silverbird Gallery.

Lea is thrilled about her 1,800-square-foot space on Biltmore Avenue.

"We're going to have to build a reputation," she said.

Right now, Slope retail traffic is slow, but Lea signed a three-year lease, confident customers will come.

"I only know that this will be a lovely area for Asheville to expand into," she said. "The meeting is definitely something I want to go to."

The meetings will allow South Slopers to offer input for the city to create a long-term vision for the area.

Kevin Goldsmith's Takosushi restaurant opens Wednesday on Southside Avenue. The menu is a mix of sushi and Southwest fare.

"I was half way in through the development process and realized how incredible a spot it was," said Goldsmith, who also plans to attend the meetings.

Kaylin Case just moved into her rental a few months ago. While she loves the bars and restaurants in the area, she hopes for a little more.

"Maybe, we can get in a few more shops, a little more shopping for us," Case said.

City officials have set a design workshop for 9:30 a.m.-noon Dec. 9 at The Refinery, 207 Coxe Ave.

The South Slope vision plan calls for a smaller area plan to be completed and states, "Coxe [avenue] should become the heart of a new residential neighborhood with a comfortable, walking scale, direct links to downtown, new housing and neighborhood retail."

The objectives of the south slope vision plan are to:

  • Assess existing and needed infrastructure that will support a growing tax base;
  • Assess and prioritize multimodal transportation and streetscape and intersection improvements (in coordination with the asheville in motion plan);
  • Promote quality development by identifying preferred land uses, strategies for encouraging innovative and sustainable forms of development, and evaluating city-owned property for its highest and best use;
  • Contribute to a strong local economy by facilitating private investment, job growth, small business and entrepreneurship;
  • Preserve and encourage a unique sense of place by celebrating the people and culture of the area, past and present; and
  • Ensure the safety of all who work, live and visit the district.

If you are unable to attend scheduled meetings but would like to comment, the city will have open studio hours at South Slope Studio, 207 Coxe Ave., beginning Nov. 9. The studio will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every Thursday and Friday through January, except for city holidays. Staff will be on site to take suggestions and hear concerns.

Want more information? Contact South Slope project manager Sasha Vrtunski at svrtunski@ashevillenc.gov or 828-259-5560. Or click here.

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