Riverwoods subdivision plan

A large mixed-use residential development on an Asheville site once eyed as a brewery location is moving forward following a Monday meeting of city officials.

Riverwoods subdivision met initial approval from members of the Asheville Technical Review Committee, a group of representatives from various city departments. The project calls for 188 duplexes, 36 condos, four live-work spaces and 161 single-family home lots (with several high-dollar sites facing the river.) There will be 8,000 to 15,000 square feet of commercial space.

Representatives for the developer said during the meeting that they’ve been working with city planners to make a number of the residential units qualify as “affordable housing,” though details weren’t discussed.

The two sides are also still working through the exact zoning designation for the land. After the potential of a brewery deal fell through, Buncombe County officials worked with city of Asheville planners to rezone the land from industrial to residential to multifamily high-density, but that will have to be tweaked.

The project moves on to the Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission for review, and then to Asheville City Council, which makes the final decision on whether it gets built.

The craggy 137-acre tract of land off Ferry Road borders Brevard Road and the French Broad River. It’s ownership history goes like this: the city of Asheville annexed the land in 1999, then sold it to Henderson County three years later. Buncombe County purchased the land in 2015 for $6.8 million, with the city of Asheville chipping in $3.4 million, all with the hope of convincing Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery to open an East Coast brewery on the site.

Deschutes, while eyeing Asheville and its vibrant beer scene closely, ultimately chose Roanoke, Va., for its new brewery (although that plan has been delayed.)

That brought the property to California-based Carnegie Holdings LLC and developer Ron Hirji, who bought the property earlier this year for $5.25 million.

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