Jolene Mechanic and Mitch Mechanic, who inherited the Phil Mechanic from Mitch’s father, listed it for sale back in February. The asking price – $1.9 million. The building has been an anchor in the RAD and its artists for a decade. It houses an eclectic mix of studios for working artists. It is home to two of Asheville’s coolest galleries: The Flood Gallery and The Pump Gallery. It also also home to Blue Ridge Bio Fuels.
If the sale goes through, it will mark the latest in a series of tectonic changes in the River Arts District over the past few years. Asheville City Council is pumping millions of taxpayers’ dollars into infrastructure improvements in the district as New Belgium Brewing continues construction on its new $175 million brewery just across the French Broad River. Over the past couple of years, a couple of derelict buildings have been torn down, and a new ownership group took over the Wedge Studios, another RAD stalwart, and pushed out some artists while adding some new retail businesses, including a hair salon and a restaurant.
The building next door to the Phil Mechanic sold late last year for nearly $2 million to an architect in Hickory. Construction crews have been busy on that structure this year with renovations.