Word on the street: Walmart will anchor new Enka Center


Word on the street is that a Walmart store will anchor the new Enka Center that’s long been in the works for western Buncombe County. The store could be a supercenter or a hypermarket, which is a combination grocery store/department store.

The new Enka Center, along Smokey Park Highway, is proposed mixed use development that would include retail and restaurant space, and possibly a hotel and movie theater. The first phase of construction calls for 158,583 square feet of retail space.

The area has seen significant residential growth in recent years. There’s a new Ingles grocery store near the intersection of Smokey Park Highway and Sandhill Road close by, and Ingles has plans to replace a current grocery store at 153 Smokey Park Highway.

A group called Fletcher Partners purchased about 200 acres of property, formerly the BASF/Enka manufacturing complex, in 2008 and gained city approval for developing the property in 2010. There’s been little action since. The main entrance to the proposed new development will be from Smokey Park Highway and will feature a new five-lane bridge over Hominy Creek. Construction on the bridge remains incomplete.

There’s also a significant new recreation area under construction at the Enka Center location.


Malleohheh September 23, 2019 - 4:49 pm

I am wondering if this information has been updated? The bridge is still unfinished but the land looks recently in development again. I don’t want Walmart BUT I do want to know what is going on either way. 🙂

Jenn September 28, 2017 - 10:22 am

Wishing for Costco

No Walmart September 27, 2017 - 11:19 pm

Noooooo not Walmart! We deserve something better then that!!

Tiger October 10, 2017 - 3:20 am

How about a Publix?

Stuck-n-traffic September 27, 2017 - 9:49 pm

With Fletcher Partners(aka Biltmore Farms) clout, we might actually get some traffic relief. Anyone paying attention knows the DOT caters to the Biltmore bunch’s needs……the DOT is still in business aren’t they? I paid my 50cents a gallon at the pump twice today.

Weavervilleman September 27, 2017 - 6:22 pm

Actually. The Alamo is just a RUMOR. With more and more people discovering Asheville, a movie theatre is great. Beats another hotel. 😉

Sam September 27, 2017 - 1:35 pm

What happened to the fact that this project was on hold because of the contaminated ground discovered at the BASF site?

weavervilleman September 29, 2017 - 3:05 pm

The ground over at bleachery blvd walmart was contaminated due to sayles bleachery. The cleaned it up

Richard Wee September 27, 2017 - 11:32 am

Who needs another low paying employer like Walmart in this community? Walmart has a long history of killing mom and pop businesses and forcing it’s “associates” into food stamp territory to survive. We don’t need another Walmart.

Brandie September 28, 2017 - 1:17 pm

I completely Agree with you, This is the last thing that we need. The people in the area deserve better and how many Wal-Marts do we need in a 20 mile radius!

Pc September 30, 2017 - 11:34 pm

Can you name 3 “mom and pop” stores in the Candler area that might suffer? And, if it’s just mom and pop, are any other employees existent? If the $10/hr associates actually show up and work, rather than whining about their low pay and calling out sick all the time, they will be promoted and find themselves earning a decent wage. I have seen it with my own son who started as a cashier at 18, became a supervisor at 20, graduated college in 5 years while working full time, is now making good money as a manager, has zero student loans, and over $20k in retirement savings from his contributions and company matching. So please take your tired old Bernie babble elsewhere.

Jason October 13, 2017 - 10:29 am

Mom and Pop stores don’t pay S@#T or pay health insurance…Walmart does.

jason September 27, 2017 - 11:17 am

FINALLY! We’ve been waiting for a Walmart over on the west part of town for 15 years.

$$$$$ September 27, 2017 - 7:34 am

Never thought I’d see the day where Candler starts looking like South Asheville, this is surely the END

weavervilleman September 29, 2017 - 11:57 am

actually its ENKA, not Candler. Candler is WEST of the Vulcan Quarry.

Big Al September 26, 2017 - 5:24 pm

Another theater? (Alamo at Asheville Mall and this will make seven) In a city this small? With the movie and theater industry suffering financial losses? WTF, over!?!?

Tiger September 26, 2017 - 6:21 pm

Multiplexes are having difficulty making profit. There is a correlation between increasing admission and concession prices and declining attendance.

Big Al September 27, 2017 - 10:11 am

And yet here we are building two more theaters in a town that already has 3 multiplexes, a brew-house theater (I forgot to include Asheville Pizza in the previous post) and two art house theaters.

I already avoid two of the multiplexes for their use of assigned seating, and the third I only go to when the film isn’t showing elsewhere. Thankfully, most of the movies I like are art house films.

A local movie reviewer that I admire actually RECOMMENDS paying for the overpriced concessions stating that without them, the theaters would go out of business. If this is true, then the entire business model needs to be reassessed.

Marge September 27, 2017 - 11:18 am

My family is a fan of the assigned seating. It’s nice to pick your seats at home and just walk right in.

luther blissett September 27, 2017 - 7:19 pm

The Carolina has definitely suffered since its acquisition by Cinemark: assigned seating that only half the audience follows, not as many one-off screenings and simulcasts, worse menus, and worst of all, no Cheerwine.

Weavervilleman September 27, 2017 - 6:20 pm

Actually. The Alamo is just a RUMOR. With more and more people discovering Asheville, a movie theatre is great. Beats another hotel. 😉

weavervilleman August 28, 2018 - 5:58 pm

Asheville… SMALL?!?!? ROFLMAO!

hauntedheadnc September 26, 2017 - 3:43 pm

A minor quibble, but a development is not “mixed-use” if the only mix is commercial uses. To be truly mixed-use, a development has to include a residential component. Labeling a development like this as mixed-use used to be one of the weaselly little ways that developers got around being accused of developing suburban sprawl.

Tiger September 26, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Mixed use development does not always have residential uses. Enka Center is a mixed use development with proposed retail, recreational, and industrial uses.

Tiger September 26, 2017 - 3:26 pm

As mentioned, Ingle’s will replace the existing Ingle’s #31 with a 74,651-square-foot supermarket accompanied by convenience store I-Market #731. A 62,000-square-foot anchor, a 55,000-square-foot anchor, and a Verizon store are proposed in the Plaza West redevelopment.

Asheville’s Technical Review Committee will consider the proposal Monday, 2 October.

Tiger September 26, 2017 - 3:29 pm

I wonder if specialty retailers Academy Sports + Outdoors and Hobby Lobby may join Ingle’s #31/I-Market #731 at Plaza West.

Weavervilleman September 27, 2017 - 6:24 pm

thought Academy Sports was supposed to go to Airport road?

Tiger October 9, 2017 - 11:37 am

This could be an additional store location.

Tiger September 26, 2017 - 3:24 pm

A Walmart Supercenter store is a hypermarket. Competing hypermarkets include Kroger Marketplace, Meijer, and SuperTarget. The Walmart proposed for Enka Center is a Walmart Supercenter hypermarket.

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