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.