First look at designs for new Lee Walker Heights development on Asheville’s South Slope


Here’s a first look at architectural plans for Lee Walker Heights in Asheville. Lee Walker is the city’s oldest public housing complex, having opened in 1950 on Short Coxe Avenue.

The plan is to move out residents (about 200), demolish the 96 units at the current complex, and build a new housing complex on the same Wilbar Street location. The new construction will include town home units and other mixed-income, mixed-use development. The Asheville Housing Authority, the city of Asheville and Duke Energy are coordinating efforts on this major South Slope redevelopment.

There’s also been discussion about building the new Lee Walker Heights on the former Matthews Ford dealership on Biltmore Avenue. Duke Energy owns that site. So far, plans are still in the discussion stage.

The hope is to start construction on the new Lee Walker sometime this year, but nothing’s confirmed.

Thanks to loyal reader Gary for the heads-up.


Jennifer March 23, 2016 - 11:38 am


This isn’t housing for the Lee Walker Heights residents.
I guarantee none of them will be living there when it is all done.

hauntedheadnc March 23, 2016 - 3:46 pm

You’re confusing “predict” with “guarantee.”

Jennifer March 23, 2016 - 11:36 am

Where are 200 people going? There isn’t housing available anywhere as it is.

Jen March 4, 2016 - 10:20 am

Storefront? Why is this necessary? Isn’t it supposed to be for low-income residents..not commercial properties.

Hauntedheadnc March 4, 2016 - 12:39 pm

Part of the purpose of mixed-use development is to put jobs within easy reach of the people who need them, and to put jobs and people together in such a way that people can get to them without having to drive.

Jane March 6, 2016 - 8:13 pm

Urban renewal took our area’s poor residents out of mixed use neighborhoods and relocated them to the “Awesome new public housing!” projects. Experience has shown us that this was not the best plan. The new model for public housing is mixed use developments like this, that also contain affordable and market rate units.

Jan S. March 4, 2016 - 6:49 am

Who’s the architect on this? I do wish articles would mention architects. It might be on the sdrawings but the type gets pretty tiny on an iPhone. Thanks.

IceNine March 4, 2016 - 7:32 am
IceNine March 4, 2016 - 10:38 am

David Baker Architects, San Francisco

indie March 3, 2016 - 11:25 pm

In the words of Shaquille O’Neal those plans are horriful—-both horrible and awful.

Hauntedheadnc March 4, 2016 - 12:40 pm

What sort of design would you prefer?

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