The co-owner of the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar said Wednesday that negative reaction to his public stance on an aspect of downtown parking has him looking for a new location.
“The climate is not good here for retailing,” said Thomas Wright, who owns the book shop and wine bar with his wife, Donna. The couple opened the business on the ground floor of Battery Park Apartments at 1 Battle Square in February 2009.
Wright said he notified the Battery Park Apartments management that he wouldn’t be renewing his lease after receiving negative reaction from residents to his support of proposed changes to downtown parking. Several downtown merchants, including Wright, have complained recently that anyone with a handicapped placard can park at a metered space for free all day.
Asheville City Council has been discussing the issue, and voted Tuesday night to charge people with handicapped placards the same fee as other motorists – $1 an hour.
The Battery Park building, which is government-subsidized for low-income elderly, has 122 units. Wright said the reaction from some residents to his support of the parking changes “has been unpleasant.” He said his lease ends Oct. 31, but that he hopes to remain in place through January. Wright added that he would like to find another location in downtown Asheville for his collection of about 50,000 used books and his bar, which sells wine and champagne by the glass or bottle. The book exhange and bar is open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. On Saturday, the business opens at noon.
I’ve got a call in to Battery Park Apartments management to ask for their reaction.
I was thinking the same thing RG!
How about the open storefront on Broadway (formerly the Old North State Clothing Co.) next to Tingles? Would be a great addition to that block!
This is too bad. Retirees + great place for proper afternoon tea or wine seemed like a perfect symbiotic relationship. Hope both sides can put their differences behind them and realize the location is win/win–a classy hangout far better than at your average retirement community for the those with leisure time and a built in clientele for the establishment.
Quote: Asheville City Council has been discussing the issue, and voted Tuesday night to charge people with handicapped placards the same fee as other motorists – $1 an hour.
Finally justice. I have seen people that work around there and residents of the Battery Park Apartments take advantage of this for years. They park, hang their tag, and walk up stairs to their apartment or office. Finally justice.
Thank you City Council.
If the residents of the apartments are "low income", how is it that they are able to afford cars …..