Earlier this year, Asheville City Council approved a public visioning process for the city-owned parcels of land on Haywood Street and Page Avenue near the Basilica of St. Lawrence and U.S. Cellular Center. Led by the Asheville Design Center, an advisory committee representing various interests is meeting to consider possible uses for the space.
The Asheville Downtown Association’s board of directors believes a civic space should be part of the design, but we also believe that a mixed-use development will provide both cost recovery on public money already invested in the site and contribute to property tax revenues. A civic space should accentuate the Basilica of St. Lawrence, provide safe egress opportunities for the U.S. Cellular Center, consider the residents of nearby senior housing and weigh options to recoup some of the taxpayer money already invested.
With the City of Asheville already struggling to pay for capital projects ($70M+ bond referendum, recent fee increases), we need to be realistic about what we can afford as a community.
Attached and pasted below, you will find an infographic developed by the Asheville Downtown Association showing the investment that has already occurred in the site, figures that represent potential property tax revenues for development on the site and construction and maintenance costs of current downtown parks.