For sale: Dilapidated buildings in prime North Asheville location for $1 million

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

woolsey1A group of aging, dilapidated buildings along Merrimon Avenue is up for sale for $1 million. A newly posted sign on one building advertises the sale:

For sale by owner

3 buildings plus 1 lot


(828) 255-3344woolsey3_asheville_2015

The location is 500 Merrimon Ave., across the street from Yo-Lo and Luella’s Barbecue. Ten years ago, a car crashed into one of the buildings in the stretch that’s now for sale and caused so much damage that the building was demolished. Thus the vacant lot. (Ten years ago, Yo-Lo was The Hop and Luella’s was Boston Pizza. Ahhh, the memories…) If you do want to buy these buildings then make sure you get thorough dilapidation reports for them so you know exactly what’s wrong with them and how to fix them.

Due to a motor vehicle crash that occurred early this morning, which collided into 500 Merrimon Avenue causing partial building collapse, Merrimon Avenue is currenlty closed to traffic in this area. The area is located across from Boston Pizza and the HOP Ice Cream shop.

Asheville Fire & Rescue responded to a motor vehicle crash early this morning located at 500 Merrimon Ave. Upon arrival, firefighters quickly assessed the scene and began to extricate a victim from a vehicle which had impacted a portion of the building. Due to possible building collapse, only two firefighters and one paramedic were able to remain in the building to treat the victim. During extrication efforts, the front portion of the building did collapse in a zone that was predicted and no one was injured due to the collapse. The two remaining firefighters, one paramedic and the victim all were safe inside the building and crews transported the driver of the vehicle to the hospital to treat for injuries suffered during the collision and not the collapse.

The Woolsey Dip area has some neat history. From

The town of Ramoth was formed in 1889. Most people today know of the area as Woolsey, which is what it changed its name to in 1903. Ramoth’s western boundary was the old turnpike road, or North Main Street, later called Broadway. Ramoth’s boundaries took in quite a bit of land. Think of “Woolsey Dip”—that dip on Merrimon Avenue at the intersection of Weaver T. Boulevard, and all of the land running into the north side of Asheville at Broadway.

The area is named after Charles Woolsey, a Civil War colonel who served on Gen. Grant’s staff. He called his local home “Witchwood.”

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

You Might also Like


  1. Rachel February 12, 2016

    10 Years ago I think Luellas was some lame breakfast place, Guzmos mojo cafe. Boston pizza was a little while back. Maybe 13-14? Think of the grease. good jobs for college kids though!

  2. Mark December 7, 2015

    A prime spot for a brewery! That block could use the convenience!

  3. Matt December 5, 2015

    Those murals inside the old Hop drive-through tripped out my 7 year old mind every time we went in for ice cream.

    1. The Blunder Years December 5, 2015

      Those images are etched in my brain, too. I discovered a year or so back that someone actually purchased those paintings in sections. I like the idea of them hanging in someone’s house 🙂

  4. North Asheville December 4, 2015

    UNCA owns the property across W.T. Weaver from this offering. Perhaps it could buy the property and create a gateway on Merrimon to the university.

    1. Matt December 5, 2015

      And raze Joe King’s? Never!

    2. orulz December 7, 2015

      NCDOT is planning for improvements to this stretch of Merrimon, budgeted to start in 2018. U-5782 is the project number.

      It’s budgeted for just $235k, and I can’t fathom how they will manage to make any significant improvement for that little.

      What’s needed is a northbound left turn lane to Weaver, a southbound left turn lane to Murdock, and a sidewalk on the west side from Weaver up to King. Sounds simple, until you notice how it’s hemmed in on all sides by the creek, power lines, businesses, and buildings.

      If it were really this cheap and easy to add turn lanes here, I can’t possibly imagine it would have sat around like this for who knows how many decades.

      Given the mess here it sounds to me like they either left a ‘zero’ off the budget, or they are planning some improvement that won’t really fix anything.

  5. Billy December 4, 2015

    When we came here in 1974 there was a headshop on the corner at W-D named either Foggy Mountain Breakdown or Smokey Mountain Breakdown. And Ceasars Parlor was up the hill at the corner of Merrimon and Edgewood. Spent way to much time in both as I recall.

  6. David December 4, 2015

    I wonder what the phase 1 will come back with on the property. Many of these old buildings are suspect. I hope it is clean if someone seeks financing.

  7. PBnJ December 4, 2015

    very excited to see what becomes of this space

  8. jtroop December 3, 2015

    My buddies in the Fire Dept. have long referred to that part of Merrimon as the Woolsey Dip.

    They often say, “There is always something going down at the dip!” ……that crazy crash 10 years ago, a subsequent fire in one of the remaining buildings, and the frequent car crashes from folks coming off of that weird set of streets: Clearview Terrace/Murdock/Chatham Rd.

  9. Barry Summers December 3, 2015


    A smell a wiccan-themed hotel in the works…

  10. Rick F December 3, 2015

    You might be interested to know that that collapsed building was the original site of Dinner for the Earth, which then moved first to what is now the location of Moog Music and then to the Westgate Mall, where it was renamed Earth Fare. Back in the pre-Beer City early 80s that store was the only place in town where you could buy home brewing supplies like malt extract. Roger Derrough was a pioneer in more ways than one.

    1. Toon Army December 3, 2015

      You are correct sir! Believe it or not folks, Asheville existed before 2005.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Stories