Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.More of what’s going around (posted Dec. 4).

-Black Forest restaurant on Hendersonville Road in south Asheville is under contract. Anyone know what’s going on? The restaurant has been in operation 18 years and opened a second location in Hendersonville this past spring, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. Update on Dec. 13: WLOS reports that the owners are selling, but the restaurant will remain open.

-Be on the lookout for the annual Asheville Symphony Chorus “flash sing” on Saturday at the following locations:

Sam’s Club store 1:15
Asheville Mall Food Court 1:45
Barnes & Noble book store 2:00
Asheville Mall Main Court 2:20
Wal-Mart Store off Swannanoa River Rd. 3:00
Wal-Mart Store Arden Hendersonville Rd. 3:25
Target Store Arden Hendersonville Rd. 3:50

-Two weeks after performing a solo show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland was found dead yesterday at a tour stop in Minnesota. Rolling Stone has the story.

-It’s ugly Christmas sweater season, and Goodwill Asheville has got you covered. Here’s the press release:

Christmas is right around the corner and that means Americans are starting to think about… pullover, cardigan or vest? We’re talking tacky Christmas sweaters, of course. And Goodwill is always the first store people think of to find the best selection at bargain prices. With that in mind, Goodwill has launched a tacky (or ugly) sweater promotion. All sweaters in this category will be sold for only $11.25. And realizing most people will want a different look next year, they are offering a free $5 Gift Card to Goodwill to everyone who purchases a sweater and donates that sweater back before December 31st. The only requirement is the sweater must have the tag and original receipt when brought back. Store Associates can assist with any questions.

“We have been stashing sweaters all year long in order to have a good supply,” said Ted Chellis, Retail District Director. “Selection will vary by store and but new inventory will be added throughout the season.”

-Givens Estates gets a good bond rating as it prepares to expand and build new living units for older residents at its Highland Farms campus. From the press release:

After constructing and filling 24 ILU apartments during 2013-2014, Given Estates is in the middle of a project that includes replacing 50 ILU apartments on the Creekside portion of its Asheville community. The first 24 units are fully occupied. The second 24 units were completed in September/October and are expected to be fully occupied by the end of the year. Construction on the final 24 ILUs is expected to begin in early 2016 when 75% of the units are pre-sold with an estimated completion date of late 2016. Management reports that 15 of the 24 ILUs are pre-sold with prospective residents depositing 10% of the entrance fee. The 24 unit second phase expansion that was just completed was financed with an $8 million bank loan that was repaid on Nov. 25, 2015, primarily from initial entrance fee receipts. The third phase will also be financed with a bank loan ($9 million) that is expected to be repaid with initial entrance fee receipts after occupancy in late 2016. Despite the large capital plans, Fitch views the strategy of updating its ILU services favorably since Givens Estates is taking out older less-marketable units, enjoys strong demand and has a sizeable waiting list.

Givens Estates also has expansion plans at its Highland Farms campus, which is expected to be done with a phased approach at a cost of approximately $24 million over the next three to four years. Construction of the first phase at Highland Farms commenced on Nov. 1, 2016 and will have 18 ILUs. Costs are estimated at $6 million with an anticipated completion date of September 2016. Management reports that 15 of the 18 ILUs (83.3%) are pre-sold with prospective residents depositing 10% of the entrance fee. The financing plans for Highland Farms is similar to the Creekside projects as all construction will be financed through temporary bank loans and repaid by initial entrance fees. Assuming phase I at Highland Farms is successfully built and occupied, Givens Estates plans three additional phases that will add another 54 ILUs.

-Asheville Brewing Company has released Skelecorn IPA brewed with blood oranges and pomegranates. Here’s the press release:

Asheville Brewing Company’s newest release, Skelecorn IPA, is NOW available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles at Asheville Brewing’s brewpubs. Asheville’s ZaPow! Art Gallery organized a contest for label art depicting an “undead” unicorn earlier this fall. The winning label was designed and painted by local artist Graham Searcey and chosen via public on-line vote. The folks at Zapow! are selling Searcey’s original oil painting for $450, as well as some of the other skeletal paintings of grisly unicorns. Bottles of crisp, refreshing Skelecorn beer, on the other hand, can be purchased for $6 each.

Skelecorn is brewed with fresh blood oranges and pomegranates—all lovingly chopped up and juiced by the brew team. The fruitiness of this IPA is heightened by citrusy all-American hops. At 5.8% ABV, the Skelecorn will not raise you from the dead, but it may help you survive the night.

-Sitel is growing, according to this press release. Sitel has large call center in Asheville.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. weavervilleman December 5, 2015

    Might need to inform the givens estate that we are not in 2016 yet.

    1. indie499 December 7, 2015

      I did that for you. They said you were a nit.

    2. F IT December 7, 2015

      Might want to inform Weavervilleman to inform Fitch, they are the ones with the press release

  2. Born and raised December 4, 2015

    No reason to hoard sweaters all year long just to price gouge.

  3. Robyn Josephs December 4, 2015

    you can get a great Xmas sweater for $5 and sometimes less at Kiwanis Thrift in Black Mountain,and, ALL the money goes to children in our community.

  4. David December 4, 2015

    Maybe they have a good lease in place and the purchaser of the property is buying into the income stream already in place.

  5. Tim Peck December 4, 2015

    Can you get a good bond rating when you don’t pay property taxes?


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