Word on the street: Duke Energy is looking at a prime piece of downtown Asheville real estate as the possible location for a substation. The past couple of years, Duke Energy has been on the hunt for a handful of new substation locations, but has met resistance from some residents. More on that in a minute.
The current location Duke Energy apparently has in its sights on is 252 Patton Avenue, the former location of the Hunter Volvo car dealership. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported recently that the 2.5-acre site is owned by Paul S. Meeker et al and has an assessed tax value of $2.9 million.
The property is the western end of Patton Avenue’s downtown stretch, an area that serves as a gateway into downtown for traffic exiting off Interstate 240 as it travels across the Bowen Bridge heading eastward. The property sits on a rise at the corner of Clingman Avenue, which is also a corner serving as the gateway to the booming River Arts District.
Over about the past three years, Duke has been on an active search for sites for new Asheville substations to serve the electrical needs of a growing city. Duke Energy hasn’t built a new substation to serve downtown since the 1970s, according to newspaper reports.
Here’s a quick look at Duke Energy’s activity:
-Duke purchased property at 226 Hilliard Ave., a high-profile site at the intersection of Hilliard and Asheland Avenues on the city’s fast-changing South Slope. Duke has appeared to step back from building a substation at this site, according to Citizen-Times reports.
-Duke purchased property at 131 McDowell Ave. and plans to have that location built by the end of 2018, according to newspaper reports. The location is near Mission Hospital, which is currently in the process of building a massive new addition.
-Duke has planned to build a substation on a site near Dickson Elementary School, but backed off that plan after residents and parents of school children objected.
-Duke has also announced that it plans to begin construction of a substation at the intersection of Mills Gap and Sweeten Creek Roads on the south end of town to serving the booming Bilmtore Park area.