Millions of dollars set to pour into remaking key Asheville shopping centers

Jason Sandford

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

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bbt6Asheville shoppers, rejoice over the next couple of years, millions of dollars will be invested to remake several of Asheville’s key shopping centers. It’s a little overwhelming to thing about what’s in the works, and how the changes will affect our mountain metropolis. Some of the details are sketchy to me, but here’s what I’ve heard or understand about some of what’s going on:

BB&T: Last year the McKibbon Group, which owns the Aloft Hotel in Asheville, bought Asheville’s one and only skyscraper and announced it would be remaking the building to include condos, office and retail space and a boutique hotel. But there’s more, according to an Ashvegas source, who says the redevelopment that is shaping up could be likened to a mini-Biltmore Park. That’s because the redevelopment will include not only the towering BB&T, but the parking lot across College Street (and next to Green Sage) from the building, as well as the dark parking garage across Broadway from the building. It’s all going to end up as one giant mixed-use facility, according to early development talks, this source says. If that’s true, that will dramatically reshape the heart of downtown Asheville.

Asheville Mall: Word on the street is that there is a $25 million renovation planned for the Asheville Mall. This is unconfirmed information right now. I’ve left a message with mall manager and have not received a call back. The mall has already announced that the popular retailer H&M is planning to move in. What else might be happening at the mall?

Biltmore Square Mall: The Biltmore Square Mall is getting a major makeover to become an outdoor outlet mall. All the current tenants except Belk and Dillard’s have to be out by the end of the month. I have yet to hear what outlets will be moving in, but at least one source tells me the mall will be shooting for outlet stores from higher-end retailers. We’ll see.

Others: There’s plenty of action on a similar scale at other key shopping centers around town. The massive new Whole Foods grocery store being built on Tunnel Road has room for other retailers. Urban Burrito is rumored to be opening a new restaurant there, and there’s a sporting goods store planned. There’s a new shopping center coming together on Airport Road, one that will include an Aldi and a Dick’s Sporting Goods. And the new Publix grocery store coming to Hendersonville Road has already reportedly attracted Asheville’s first Chipotle.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. danfromweaverville January 24, 2014

    Once FYE closes in less than 1 week, changes will begin. Beginning with work to a relocated Finish Line store, which will gain some extra sqfootage at the old FYE locale. Abercrombie will be kicked out as well. Banana Republic is likely to do the same or relocate. NY and company is leaving the mall. Claires, I think, is moving between GameSTOP and Earthbound Trading. Still see Baba Ghannouji (sp?) as signed in the food court (where DQ was located).

  2. orulz January 24, 2014

    Glad to see that redeveloping the parking deck is in the cards, though this was pretty much certain from the start given its age. Including the vacant lot to the north is a pleasant surprise to me. They should also toss in the parking lots along Patton between Church and Lexington for good measure.

  3. Murphy January 24, 2014

    The BB&T/McKibbon project will have to provide parking for the residents, the hotel guests and the folks who work in the various businesses in the complex…

    as it is there are several law firms and other businesses that aren’t even in the BB&T building that lease spaces in the existing garage on Broadway…

    there are not enough “publicly funded” parking options to provide spaces for these folks if the garage is completely removed…

  4. yep January 23, 2014

    The only Mall that matters is the Innsbruck Mall.

    1. jtroop January 25, 2014

      haha! that place baffles me everytime i have to visit those nice laddies at the tag office … even if it was in san salvador …. in the 1980’s, it would still be a dump…

  5. hauntedheadnc January 23, 2014

    The BB&T Project sounds pretty awesome… but let’s see how ferociously the NIMBY’s attack it. Because, you know, if the developer wanted to replace either the lot or the deck with another tall building, it would be totally out of character with the surrounding neighborhood… and it’s not like an 8-story hotel used to stand where the parking deck is or anything.


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