Jason Sandford

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

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Hilliard Avenue Apartments, a new five-story, 80-unit apartment building with 5,200 square feet of commercial space, is planned for a vacant lot at the corner of Hilliard and Clingman avenues. Sixty of the apartments are to be deemed affordable housing. This is a Mountain Housing Opportunities project.

The Hilliard Avenue Apartments projected is located in a hot area for new development. Here’s a rundown:

-Right across Hilliard Avenue, the city of Asheville is working with a private developer to build a 64-unit affordable housing complex on a corner lot there. The city-owned property was once home to a city parks and recreation maintenance facility. Those buildings have been demolished to make way for the new construction.

-Just up the street at the corner of Clingman and Patton Avenues, work continues on a 115-unit apartment complex in a four-story building with parking deck. Patton Place Apartments should be opening up later this year.

-Across Clingman Avenue from the new Hilliard Avenue Apartments, Duke Energy has plans to build a new electrical substation.

The Hilliard Avenue Apartments project is scheduled to be reviewed by the Asheville Technical Review Committee at its March 5 meeting. The property owner is Future Doc Management, Inc.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. Curious March 3, 2018

    Thanks for that insight. If what you say is accurate, it doesn’t reflect well on the architectural profession.

  2. Ginny February 28, 2018

    MMMMM. “I would jump at the chance to live across from the electrical substation!” Said me, never.

    How are they going to make that look attractive to all the hopeful, new occupants of all those new apartments??

    1. Jeff March 1, 2018

      I read somewhere (can’t think of where, exactly) that Duke was going to put a wall around the substation. The equipment will be gas cooled so the equipment will be smaller in size. Because that corner is the major entrance to downtown, there was concern about how ugly it might be. The wall around it was Duke’s response to that.

  3. hauntedheadnc February 27, 2018

    Just a touch more daring that the typical “Charlotte Boring” style. It think it manages to just cross the line from Charlotte Boring to actual contemporary.

    As an aside, one thing I do notice about all the new construction here lately is that it offers up a bevy of blank walls that we need some art on asap. For example, there’s that weird little pocket of unused space at the Aloft that would make for a nice pocket park, and a big expanse of blank space at the Cambria that is just aching for a mural.

    1. luther blissett February 27, 2018

      Wouldn’t need murals if there was a bit of architectural creativity with the exterior transitions. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just needs to introduce some variation.

      Not quite Charlotte Boring, this one, but the dead space at pedestrian level (for grading and the inevitable parking) needs some work.

      1. hauntedheadnc February 27, 2018

        I agree, and I’m a big advocate for more interesting architecture no matter if its contemporary or neo-traditional (Spartanburg is the regional leader in neo-traditional new construction). However, in the Cambria’s defense, the big blank wall faces that driveway in between it and the condo building at 21 Battery Park.

        I’m not sure what’s going on with the ground floor of this building, at least not going from just the picture here. Is it dead space? If so, that’s really not acceptable. I would hope that if not retail space, there’s at least entrances for individual units.

          1. hauntedheadnc March 2, 2018

            There actually is quite a bit of good true contemporary architecture in Asheville. Unfortunately, all of it is restricted to single-family homes.

            As to why architects build bland building, they do it because they’re cheap and easy, and their clients only care about making money from people who come to see the good buildings that we’re famous for. Those clients do not care about contributing to that stock of good buildings. Architects also no longer have the skills to build anything worthwhile. I vividly remember an email exchange I had with an architect who wanted to build a dismal, Charlotte Boring urban village downtown. He admitted that modern architects don’t have the skills to build anything like the Jackson Building or the S&W Building anymore and not to expect them to try.


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