coxe_avenue_buildings_abccm_asheville_2015Two buildings at the bottom of Coxe Avenue on Asheville’s booming South Slope sold Thursday for $1.4 million.

East West Coxe LLC, a group of local investors that includes Mike Figura, David Moritz and Brian Nelson, purchased the property at 207 and 217 Coxe Ave. from Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry.

ABCCM has operated a thrift shop out of  217 Coxe Ave. It has also operated a shelter out of 217 Coxe Ave. in recent years. Most recently, ABCCM allowed another group to operate a shelter there, a shelter that closed a couple of months ago, according to Figura, who acted as buyer’s agent on the deal. (Figura is broker and owner of Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty.)

ABCCM has been trying to sell the property for a couple of years and has a plan, Figura said. (I haven’t yet reached out to ABCCM, but plan to.)

Figura said East West Coxe LLC will be working with Austin Walker  of Whitney Commercial Real Estate to find tenants. Early plans are to create affordable space for artists at 207 Coxe Ave. and perhaps create an artist co-op. “We know that artists are getting pushed out of the River Arts District, so we like that idea.” Figura added that any artist interested in space should email him at mike@mymosaicrealty.com.

The building at 217 Coxe Ave. includes warehouse space and three loading docks with bays, according to Figura. The space could be a prime spot for a brewery with a restaurant component, or office and production space with some retail, he said.

The two buildings are 1920s-era construction, according to Figura, and encompass 40,000 square feet of space.

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40 Comments

  1. I read similar complaints from people in Statesville and a dozen other cities. Of course, not everyone in Charlotte or Raleigh has a high paying job. Many people end up as waiters or cashiers. High-paying jobs exists, but you are competing against thousands of locals and many more flooding in each year.

    Asheville has more opportunities than the rest of WNC. If you wanted to mitigate brain drain, make Asheville more attractive. The 5×5 plan created over 5,000 jobs and AdvantageWest has helped launch new businesses, so there is work being done. I don’t see Burnsville or Franklin, NC doing this (and they have no newcomers to blame for a lack of imagination). In 10 years, Asheville will much more developed. The highways will be widened giving us a feel of a much larger city. Greenways will be developed, though we will still have a ways to go to come even close to Knoxville’s 85 miles of greenways. I would like a more high-tech/information jobs and a more developed cheese/fruit industry. A recent C-T article was telling us to travel over an hour to pick blueberries in Whittier. Why aren’t there more closer?

    Complaints are good to get the discussion rolling, but at some point people are responsible for how they invest their money, their education, and who they vote for. Don’t complain about the hotel room tax and vote for Ager. If can’t trust them to do the right thing, do it yourself!

  2. Downtown Julie says:

    I’ll miss the last thrift shop in downtown Asheville, no more $2 shoes and $1 shirts. C’est la vie! I hope the entire South Slope is redeveloped with apartment buildings, cafes, and hip cafes cause that’s what I want every where! Down with thrift, up with disposable cash (or credit). In all honest, who the hell goes that far down Coxe Avenue? I guess the wise developers know what they’re doing, or maybe they don’t see a bubble, cause I sure do!

    • Exactly, tourist hate walking especially because there is an UP to every DOWN hill. Wait a minute, maybe it’s locals that hate to walk. Any way, I don’t see an eatery, coffee shop, donut shop, cupcake shop, or anything else making it unless you provide a shuttle service from the hotels.

  3. hauntedheadnc wrote:

    “…Asheville’s biggest export is its young people. They go off to Charlotte, Atlanta, and God knows where all else because the selection of jobs here sucks…Is that okay with you? If so, why? Why is it okay for a city to offer so little opportunity that its sons and daughters leave it in droves every year? How can that possibly be a healthy community?”

    I would not cry too much about the “brain drain” of Asheville’s youth leaving their small town to pursue better opportunities. There is NO shortage of young hipsters flowing in to replace them despite the lack of jobs and amenities. There is also no lack of the same hipsters complaining about these shortages, and a surprising lack of self-awareness or self responsibility in their decisions to move here without doing even a minimum of research before moving here. It’s just Leap, then Look, then Complain.

    And how can you blame “the city” for the lack of opportunities? Cities don’t create jobs, they create healthy environments for the private sector to create them. Other than Real Estate and Hospitality, Asheville has shown a marked contempt for any form of capitalist investment or improvement. But the hipsters and old hippies love this and seem willing to live in squalor to keep the status quo.

    You want a HEALTHY community? The first step would be to revise the offerings at UNC-A from Fine Arts to something meaningful. We have a major hospital, Mission, serving 14 counties, next door to a state university without a nursing program, while universities with no sizable hospitals in remote places like Boone and Cullowee teach graduate and post-graduate nursing, which is what Mission needs the most and has a shortage of now. We have more than enough starving artists and minimum-wage wait staff with MFAs and massive student loans. BUT this would require the , LOCALS to work with the STATE, and that would interfere with Asheville’s continuing revolutionary struggle against the bourgeoisie.

    If I sound unsympathetic, guess what…I am! Asheville knows the problems AND the solutions, but they are not politically palatable. Most of you complainers made this bed with your votes but think you can sleep somewhere else if you keep voting the same way. The definition of insanity.

    • Asheville has shown a marked contempt for any form of capitalist investment or improvement

      Examples? All I can find is Asheville falling over themselves to solicit investment by GE Aviation, Linamar, New Belgium, Borg Warner, Volvo etc., anyone willing to come here and create jobs.

      I know, the ‘Asheville-as-anti-capitalist’ myth is so great… until the facts intrude.

      • “Examples? All I can find is Asheville falling over themselves to solicit investment by GE Aviation, Linamar, New Belgium, Borg Warner, Volvo etc., anyone willing to come here and create jobs.”

        Please. He has his mind made up. Don’t confuse him with the facts!

      • Agreed, i know a great many people here who make it work because they want to live here…

        If you live in Charlotte, you MAY find a better job, but it is boring.

        If you live in Greenville, you MAY find a better job, but it is all conservative and weird.

        If you live in Raleigh, you MAY find a better job, but it is is too hot and to far east.

        If you live in Asheville, , you MAY not find a great job, but at least it is damn fine place to live!

        … no place is perfect!

    • It's a Problem.. says:

      “But the hipsters and old hippies love this and seem willing to live in squalor to keep the status quo.”

      Go choke on a Land Rover

    • hauntedheadnc says:

      Of course you wouldn’t cry too much about the brain drain of Asheville’s youth leaving for greener pastures, because you have yours and to hell with everyone else. You don’t have to cry over it.

      It’s interesting to note though, the hostility with which you greet the very idea that someone else is concerned about the problem. Almost as if you’re offended that someone would want to make Asheville as good a place to work as it is to live. Almost as if you’re offended that someone would want the city to provide enough opportunity to support all the people who were born and raised here who want to stay, but can’t because there are no jobs and the prices here are too high.

      Why would that offend you, I wonder…

    • AB-Tech DOES have a nursing program… they turn out hundreds of nurses each year and yet, those graduates are not qualified (by and large) for positins at Mission… why is that?

  4. theyhearda says:

    Must be noted as well that the sellers are one of Asheville’s best established and most functional charities in the area. With all the out-of-towners cleaning up on this market and taking their money elsewhere, it really puts a smile on my face knowing that 1.4 is going to do a lot of good to people who really need it here in buncombe.

  5. I am skeptical even though it says affordable art studios. At 1.4 million you are not just going to collect $250/month or less rent from some artists. And yes, 250.- or less is what I consider affordable.
    I’m so sick of all the breweries popping up everywhere. There will come a time when they have all left. What then?

  6. Not a hotel? Mind-blowing.

  7. hauntedheadnc says:

    A restaurant/brewery?

    Thank goodness. For a moment there I was afraid we might get something bigger, better, and that we don’t already have 105 of within a ten-block radius. At least I can comfort myself that it’s the next best thing to a hotel.

    The fact that “Asheville investors” don’t dream big and think bigger is the reason Ashevile remains a great place to spend money and a horrible place to make it.

    • luther blissett says:

      Totally agree. Those properties ought to define the southern extent of the South Slope in a way that isn’t “me too” as yet another set of property developers climb on the bandwagon.

      I’m sure the usual suspects will show up to say that it’s their property now, but once again, money doesn’t come with imagination, and imagination doesn’t come with money, and that’s the story of Asheville development.

      • Ditto what they said.

      • More “what they should do”. Why don’t you and like minded posters do what you only write about? No guts or no money or both?

        • hauntedheadnc says:

          No money, indie. Unlike the tourists or the trustafarians, I have to live here on the money I make here, which I make working one of the poor selection of jobs here. I don’t have daddy’s money to help me out, nor am I bringing in a fortune I made somewhere else.

          Basically, I work here, unlike the folks who just play here. Consequently, I don’t have the cash to make positive changes here in this city where I was born and where my roots go back centuries.

          • If you can’t make the kind of money here that you want, or believe you deserve, why don’t you look for opportunity elsewhere? For God’s sake, if what you want isn’t available where you are, get off your azz and go find it.

          • hauntedheadnc says:

            Harry, I’m in school right now to make the money I need to survive. I’m more concerned with the fact that year after year after year, Asheville’s biggest export is its young people. They go off to Charlotte, Atlanta, and God knows where all else because the selection of jobs here sucks.

            Is that okay with you? If so, why? Why is it okay for a city to offer so little opportunity that its sons and daughters leave it in droves every year? How can that possibly be a healthy community?

        • luther blissett says:

          See, I called it: indie’s as tediously predictable as Asheville’s property developers.

          Asheville can point at Julian Price and his decade of showing how wealth and imagination can work together. Of course, it helps if you’re already wealthy and don’t mind talking short term losses for long term benefits.

          To pick up on hauntedheadnc’s suggestions, there’s demand for office space suited to modern tech businesses — open-plan, wired for bandwidth — but no real supply. It sets up a catch-22 where businesses need to become property developers in order to have suitable offices. The market has failed.

          • Blissett, did you read what I wrote? Had zero to do with your prediction.

          • By Blissett logic, money not only doesn’t come with imagination, but is inversely correlated. Why do all the imaginative people with all these great ‘you should do this” moments not have the ability to cobble together a little green?

          • hauntedheadnc says:

            “Why do all the imaginative people with all these great ‘you should do this” moments not have the ability to cobble together a little green?”

            I believe that question has already been answered. Most of us are too busy working our job or our two or three jobs and dealing with the various dramas of our two or more roommates we’re required to live with if we want to live anywhere inside the city limits, because so few jobs pay anyone enough to live on their own.

            The world is very different for those who work here versus for those who only play here. Your hostility indicates that offends you.

            Too bad.

          • luther blissett says:

            I predicted that the usual suspects would show up to say that any future use is now in the sole hands of the new property owners, and indie showed up with “why don’t you buy it yourself?” and other BS. Nothing if not reliable.

            ‘Why do all the imaginative people with all these great ‘you should do this” moments not have the ability to cobble together a little green?’

            Ah, the “if you’re so smart why aren’t you rich?” argument. Well, in the case of property development, we’ve seen that there’s always money for “me too” buildings and always the chance for quick profits where the developers don’t give a shit about the long term impact of their projects.

            Now, if I were an amoral a-hole with a few million in the bank to build quick, flip quick and cash out, Asheville would be my dream town.

    • It’s easy to sit back and call for more innovation, but about offering suggestions?

    • What would be some other more imaginative options for the building that would be commercially viable?

      • hauntedheadnc says:

        A small-business incubator, or a push to attract an industrial or white collar office interest suited to a downtown environment. Off the top of my head, I would say that a software firm or an insurance company headquarters would be happy downtown.

        Granted, the developer doesn’t have the pull to handpick the tenants, but at the same time, what is anyone doing to bring those kinds of tenants or those kinds of jobs to downtown, or to Asheville at all?

        A million places to spend money here, but where can you make any?

        • “A million places to spend money here, but where can you make any?”

          – Amen to that. Local wages are not competitive, at all, in almost any industry in this town. Everyone wants to live here, employers know this, and thus pay crap wages because they know people will take them. Plus we have the highest rents in NC, and some of the highest tax and utility rates. Beautiful place to be and I love this town. It is a playground for the rich and always has been, it seems.

          • Yes, it has been a playground for the rich ever since the wealthy plantation owners found out that it was much cooler here in the summer than in Charleston, Atlanta, etc. That aspect of Asheville will never change. The powers that be have too good a thing going on to ever allow that.

          • It all goes back to TB. The tuberculosis epidemic of the 1880s sent people with means looking for anyplace that offered some sort of healing. Asheville became a place that attracted two populations: rich people with TB, and alternative healer-types. Boarding houses for TB sufferers were built all over the region, like this one at 33 Starnes Ave.:

            bit.ly/1evIiQk (drag & drop)

            Asheville’s population exploded between 1880 and 1910, and after the epidemic had passed, a lot of those people stayed, and developers sought to attract more – that was when the “Miami Beach of the Mountains” marketing began. From 1920 – 1928, Asheville spent huge amounts of money building out infrastructure to accommodate all this new development – roads, schools, water system, etc. As a result, when the Crash came, Asheville had the highest debt per capita of any city in America. And unlike most cities, they pledged to pay back every dime. And they made Buncombe County help pay it off, which was fair, since the City accrued a lot of this debt to enable development across the region. That is the root of the fight over Asheville’s water system.

            That’s also a good description of the dynamic of the past 120 years – wealthy outsiders, alternative-hippy-liberal-Democrat types, and a County that benefits economically, but resents not being in control politically or culturally.

            Is this a great town or what?

        • Well, if you don’t want redundancy, skip small buainess incubator. Mountain Biz Works is a block away.

          • Mr. Summers assessment is spot on. I would only add that the wealth was coming to Asheville before the 1880’s TB epidemic.

            Before the Civil War war wealthy plantation owners from the lowlands came her for the cooler mountain weather in the summer. Their influence had a lot to do with Asheville being pro-Confederate while many parts of the southern Appalachians were more sympathetic to the Union.

            Many Unionists often referred to Asheville as “that damned secessionist hole, in the mountains.”

    • Nice dodge.

      In your simple little world, “imaginative people’ don’t work, obtained their money elsewhere and play in AVL.

      Hard working folks like you are, I guess, unimaginative and can’t think outside the box, create something/do something. But they have time to post endless streams of what “they should be doing”.

      • luther blissett says:

        ” But they have time to post endless streams–”

        If you’re saying that it’s a waste of people’s time responding to your tedious clichés, then I agree: you’re not worth the ten seconds it took to type this. Asheville’s worth more effort.

      • hauntedheadnc says:

        On the contrary, indie. I believe my position this entire time is that the people who do bring their money in are the unimaginative ones. They come to town to feed on the success that the rest of us worked so hard to foster, and they push us out in the process.

        People actually doing the real work to keep this city going (ie *not* the idle rich or the trustafarians) are the ones who have great ideas but no capital to make them happen. They have no capital because they’re paid Asheville wages and they pay Asheville rents, and thus there is nothing left over afterwards to make any great ideas come to life.

        Your hostility here seems to indicate that you disagree with those of us on here pointing out the very real structural problems faced by the city of Asheville as an entity. High rents, low wages, lousy jobs. What evidence do you have to present to prove us wrong? I’d love to be corrected with proof that rents are in fact low, wages are in fact high, and that there is in fact opportunity enough to keep everybody who wants to stay here staying here.

        What proof can you show?

        • Really? When did I say rents were low or wages were high?

          My point is if all these “imaginative” folks had ideas that had any merit and could be profitable, why aren’t they being funded? The world is not so black and white as you paint it—-unimaginative have all the money. I’m sure there are plenty of folks or groups of folks willing to invest in profitable, sustainable ideas.

          The “what they should do is…” is at best 1/4 baked idea.

          • luther blissett says:

            My point is if all these “imaginative” folks had ideas that had any merit and could be profitable, why aren’t they being funded?

            I’ll throw you another minute, indie: because property developers are usually in the business of short-term sure-thing projects, where they bring in their money, make their profit, and head off to the next deal. (See: Hotel Indigo, whose developers recently cashed out.)

            That’s why there are so many “me too” projects following the same damn template, and so few creative long-term ones.

            In the meantime, there are lots of Asheville businesses that can’t grow or branch out the way they’d like, because to get the right premises they’d have to become property developers themselves, and they’ve already got enough work on their hands.

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