Saturday, August 13, 2005

Condos: Which side of the coin?

Crossposted from Ashvegas:

This is the new face of Ashvegas. Get used to it, because we're only going to see more of these "urban lofts" and high-end condos go up around town. This one is dubbed Lexington Station on South Lexington, going up behind (or next to, depending upon your point of view) the gallery on the corner. By the way, remember when that gallery was the Star Bootery? I loved that place.

I'm not sure what I think about all these fancy condos. On the one hand, having people live downtown helps feed the vibrancy that we all know makes downtown of the most eclectic, exciting downtowns in North Carolina. And this sort of "in-fill" development stands as a much nicer addition to town, rather than continued sprawl.

The flipside - Ashvegas is changing before our eyes. Old locations fall beneath the crawl of the bulldozer and the power of the wrecking ball. The housing that's going up caters to really just one demographic - rich white people who can afford to pay $700,000 for a downtown condo. I'm not crazy about rich white people taking over my downtown.

Apparently there's no stopping this trend, so we'll just stand back and watch. What do you think?


syntax said...

what, are there no more mcmansions in arden for the yuppies to move into?

i like living in a $80K house located less than a mile away from $700K condos. suckers...

Edgy Mama said...

Like you, Ash, I'm mixed.

I think one of the reasons that downtown Asheville is so interesting and cool is because of the funky old buildings. The primary reason most of them are still there is because there was no money to tear them down and rebuild in the 60s and 70s when the trend was to "modernize."

Now there's money galore and downtown has become "revitalized," but let's hope the Historical Commission and City Council can keep a handle on this confounding evolution.

modpez said...

asheville is in the middle, or maybe past the middle, of a classic urban evolution, but one that has no name i am aware of. it happened in aspen co., santa fe NM, sedona az, and even chatham county south of chapel hill. first artists and craftsman discover a quiet place with minimal 20th/21st c. "noise" etc. they move there. then the alternative young. then small business, and tension develops between the street and the restaurants/bars/galleries. then the wealthy. real estate and taxes go thru the roof, those who were born and grew up in the place are taxed out of town. long post but this faster and faster transmogrication of "place" into theme park is an obsession of mine.

what to do about it? either stay and make a stand, or move further out and get ready to do it again.

Anonymous said...

what do you think about the ugly overly-large condo that is being built by Coleman of Asheville Mall fame in the very heart of the historic district between Haywood and the Grove Arcade? In the dead of night, 2 extra stories got added, and then decks that hang out over sidewalks below got approved when noone was watching by our wonderful community oriented City council. Wonder how much money Mr. Coleman gave to action committee of Worley, Dunn, Mumpower, and Davis? Is no one watching the ranch? Are increased tax revenues that important?