185_coxe_2014A 1.78-acre parcel of property at 185 Coxe Ave. on Asheville’s red-hot South Slope sold on Monday for $2 million. Early word on the street is that the new owner plans to build a large apartment building on the site.

It is just the latest in a series of property transactions and developments planned, or underway, for one of the hottest areas of new development for downtown Asheville. It’s a trend we’ve been watching for more than a year.

The empty lot sits right across the street from Asheville’s Chrysler building, which is being renovated for a mix of about 25 condos and retail space. Next to the Chrysler building is an empty lot that is the site of a proposed eight-story building with a parking deck and 40-some apartments. The same ownership group owns all the lots.

What’s happening there on the southern end of Coxe Avenue is potentially a critical mass of development that will bring hundreds of new residents, and the accompanying businesses to serve then, to that southern slope of Asheville central business district.

What else is happening on Asheville’s South Slope? Here’s a quick look:

-Beer: Asheville’s newest craft brewery, Twin Leaf Brewing, just opened on the corner of Coxe and Banks avenues. Last year, Hi-Wire Brewing opened nearby, as did Ben’s Tune-Up, a popular restaurant right next door

-Renovation of old Standard Paper Building: The massive vacant building on Banks Avenue is being renovated to house several new business. Vortex Doughnuts is moving in, and word on the street is that a new restaurant/bar is in the works in an adjacent space in the building.

-Downtown Market building renovations: The South French Broad Avenue building that is home to the Downtown Market was just sold and there are plans for its renovation. A discount grocery store inside the building is planning to triple in size, and there are plans to add residential units to the building.

-McCormick Field upgrades: Late last year, the owners of historic McCormick Field, home to the Asheville Tourists baseball team, announced plans for a number of renovations that could turn the little baseball stadium into a year-round entertainment venue. The vision is for McCormick Field to be a real South Slope anchor.

-The established businesses: Asheville Pizza & Brewing is already an established South Slope business, having moved to Coxe Avenue back in the mid 1990s when nobody was looking that way. The same goes for Green Man Brewing and its neighbors on Buxton Avenue, including Asheville Hardware, Eagle’s Nest Outfitters and the French Broad Chocolate Factory. These businesses already are providing a steady southward pull for residents and tourists alike.

South Slope rising, folks.

6 Comments

  1. hauntedheadnc says:

    An apartment building? Even, dare I say it, a *large* apartment building?!

    That just won’t do. It must be either a brewery, a pizza/taco fusion restaurant/bar, or a hotel. That is all that is acceptable for downtown. The very notion that someone might even consider building something else makes me very uncomfortable. It just upsets the entire area’s paradigm. It’s just not right!

  2. Was this article cut and pasted from 2008?

  3. GREAT! That lot is probably the largest contiguous lot in the south slope area. Now we just need to backfill Milliard, Banks and Collier Avenues so it connects with downtown via Patton, Church and Lexington. Then we’ll have a really neat “corridor” for businesses and residential…

    • There were some MASSIVE projects proposed in those areas during the last boom.

      Zona (yes, them) proposed two additional buildings on Buxton Ave, in addition to the one that flopped on Coxe Avenue. One of the buildings was even approved by the city.
      Zona Village

      Ravenscroft was a project near the intersection of Ravenscroft and Collier proposed by a local architect that was initially proposed as a bunch of 20-some story skyscrapers but later downsized to the 5~7 story range.

      Both were condos and understandably failed as the market tanked. But even back then, developers clearly saw the potential of the South Slope.

  4. Looks like the real estate “boom” is back on in the AVL!

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