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Old June 13th, 2005, 10:01 PM   #1
Matthew
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New skyscraper in Asheville


Image: Chad Roberson

I've been waiting to post something like this for a long time! A new construction 10-11 storey office building, with ground floor retail and 130,000 square feet of total space!


Floors so far:
1: Retail
2: Bank
3: Buncombe County
4: Buncombe County
5: Buncombe County
6: Buncombe County
7: Buncombe County
8: **For Lease**
9: **For Lease**
10: **For Lease**
11: Mechanical

The developer is Northwest Development Company and the architect is Asheville's very own PBC+L Architecture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizen-Times
the College Street building would be shorter than only a handful of others downtown and would be a noticeable addition to views of downtown from the east.

“It’s a significant building. It’s going to be very prominent, very attractive,” said Alan Glines, a city planner who is reviewing the project.
It's like I'm dreaming! Now lets work towards breaking ground on this one, before the NIMBYs find out about it!

Asheville NIMBY of the week:
I know it's early in the week, but it will be hard to beat this one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citizen-Times
Parking was the point of concern about the office building for Kathy Kelley, a state employee who works in the courthouse and parks on the building site.

“They ought to stop building all these buildings,” she said. “People need a place to park,” Kelley said, calling the office building plan “ridiculous.”
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Old June 14th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Congrats, now be sure to take a lot of shots for us, especially of that unique exterior skin as it goes up!
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Old June 14th, 2005, 12:33 AM   #3
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Matthew, it looks great !

By the way (my annual question), any idea when BB&T might reclad their ugly stump of a tower ?
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Old June 14th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #4
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"They ought to stop building all these buildings. People need a place to park."

Very cool for Asheville. Great to see a new tower going up. . The illustration looks pretty interesting, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it in real life. Great that the bottom floor will be for retail. Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, I bet that would not have been considered. Thankfully today, it seems that office buildings are once again inviting retail on the bottom floors.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 09:05 PM   #5
Matthew
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You're right Astro, just look at the National Climatic Data Center for an example of that. The best example is an older building. The 7-storey Biltmore Building was designed in 1978 by I.M. Pei and removed several 100+ year old retail buildings. It doesn't have any ground-level retail and is viewed very negatively. It was expected to revitalize downtown and it never did. The loss of retail buildings has had a very negative impact. I think some of these NIMBYs who fight new buildings are people who remember that building and its failure to revitalize as promised. Shortly after, a plan for a large downtown mall surfaced and it's a real blessing for our Downtown that it was never built! That would've destroyed our Downtown.

Now we have to wait and see if it breaks ground. I've waited for the chance to photograph the skyline with tower cranes and now I may have a chance to do that! There's also a plan for a 15-17 storey hotel tower. It won't be as visable on the skyline as this one though. There's also talk of another 10 storey condo tower to add more news of Asheville's changing skyline to this thread! We've had a lot of 5-7 storey stuff and it feels good to get some 10-17 storey stuff, if it all breaks ground. We are known for our crazy NIMBYs who show up in full force to stop any progress Downtown.

Dale, I always answer your question the same way every year. The building recently had a major systems upgrade and is almost like a new building. Just the outside looks old and dated. BB&T commands the biggest bucks per square foot in town and until that changes, I don't think we'll see any more changes at the BB&T Building. Maybe the introduction of more and newer space, like this, will force them to make facade changes, but I doubt it. And it's our best (and one of the state's best) examples of International Style architecture. I would like to see it cleaned-up and added to the National Register of Historic Places. I would also like to see a new tallest in the near future. Our last attempt (25 storey mixed-use tower) went nowhere. Residential demand is there to build a new tallest condo tower.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #6
JRQ
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I'm very glad to see this happening! Asheville is most deserving of this, imo.
Keep up the good coverage, Matthew!
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____________

-Fairfax County-1,130,000
--Virginia Beach-448,000
---Norfolk-246,000
----Chesapeake-230,000
-----Richmond-214,000
------Arlington-208,000
-------Newport News-182,000
--------Alexandria-149,000
---------Hampton-136,000
----------Roanoke-98,000
-----------Portsmouth-96,000
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #7
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Matthew -

Thanks for the usual, annual answer.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #8
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OUTSTANDING!!! This is great news for Asheville. The city deserves more and better. It already has the image, the skyline, the nightlife, the style and the elegance of a larger city. While I would not call this mid-rise a skyscraper, it is without a doubt something that will stand out in the beautiful skyline of DT Asheville. Great places deserve great things, and Asheville is no exception.

Thanks for the update, Matthew. PLEASE keep us informed on the progress
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #9
uptownliving
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Only in Asheville would 10 stories classify as a skyscraper...well this is definately a LOT better than the BB&T monstrocity...its ugly not only on the outside...but the inside as well...that thing should be torn down.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #10
JRQ
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Even if it is ugly, it adds too much to the skyline to be torn down.
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____________

-Fairfax County-1,130,000
--Virginia Beach-448,000
---Norfolk-246,000
----Chesapeake-230,000
-----Richmond-214,000
------Arlington-208,000
-------Newport News-182,000
--------Alexandria-149,000
---------Hampton-136,000
----------Roanoke-98,000
-----------Portsmouth-96,000
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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #11
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that looks like a very neat design!
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Old June 17th, 2005, 02:05 AM   #12
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You never know,
one day you may ask and I'll have news they are doing a reclad!

This could be one of our top five tallest buildings Downtown. No word on the official height. I think it's height at 11 1/2 floors (guessing 150 feet) will make it as tall as the Battery Park Apartment Tower, which is our fifth tallest now. New office buildings have higher floor to ceiling heights than the older hotels and residential buildings we have. The floor to ceiling heights of newer office buildings are also greater than those of older office buildings. This will have a big impact on our skyline and is a "skyscraper" in Asheville.

If 1 W. Pack (BB&T Building) was cleaned-up and kept in the International Style, it would look great. I think a new color scheme is needed, like what Winston-Salem did with their Winston Tower. They also got a listing on the National Register of Historic Places for that tower and we could do the same! That would provide tax credits to restore it as an International Style building and change the colors (window film and paint). I don't want to lose any of our architectural styles that give us our diverse mix of architecture. I also don't want to lose any buildings older than 70 years or taller than 5 floors. Losing the city's tallest building would be a major blow to Asheville's skyline, which is the 5th best skyline in the state! I think architectural diversity is a good thing and we should keep this building in it's present style. Just change the colors, to brighten it up. That's a very cheap way to make it look better and keep it in it's present style. The inside may not have fine wood paneling, beautiful light fixtures or marble everywhere, but it is a very nice office building with luxuries unmatched in this office market. You won't find any metalic wallpaper or 60's carpeting. Tower Associates keeps the building up and up-to-date with technology.

If the tower was reclad, I know it would be a cheap looking post modern box no one would like and it would destroy part of the city's history. it's present state is better than that. Remember this was the headquarters for Northwest Bank when it was built! It would also be odd not seeing it there. The building reflects the art and architecture of the 60's and just needs a little cleaning up and a possible color change. Think back to the 70's when architecture fans said classical and art deco styled buildings were outdated and ugly. This is happening today with International Style buildings.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #13
james2390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRQ
Even if it is ugly, it adds too much to the skyline to be torn down.
Agreed
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Old June 17th, 2005, 03:52 PM   #14
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I don't consider the BB&T tower (see photo below) an ugly building. Sure, we have better high-rise examples in the state, but even so, this tower adds a lot to the skyline. It does not look out of place and boosts the image of DT Asheville. The latter has a very nice collection of towers, and a great variety of architecture. Unless they replace it with something of equal size and much better design, BB&T tower needs to stay as is.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #15
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Matthew, do you happen to know what county agencies will be relocating to the 10 story tower? Is the DSS among them? I realize that an office with such heavy in-and-out traffic might not work so well in a tower like that, but in their present location they have a mighty big parking lot on some pretty prime land on Coxe Avenue...
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Old June 17th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #16
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hmm, at first i really liked the design, but it almost seems too busy for a 10 or 11 floor building. the jury is still out, want to see another rendering. good news for asheville though!
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Old June 17th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #17
Matthew
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The old DSS Building is just that. It's old looking. I'm guessing they will move to the new tower? There hasn't been any word yet of what offices are moving, but the County has a small number of employees spread out in several buildings. This is a very good idea; creating an all in one place. One of those surface parking lots on Coxe Avenue goes with the old First Union Building. Not all of that is DSS. The location near Pritchard is very attractive for residential, but the other surroundings aren't that great and the county likely won't take anything less than $4 - 5 million for it. That whole area is like a big surface parking lot, which isn't too attractive for possible tennats. An interesting thing to note, the county hasn't transfered the property (sell or give away) to Northwest Property Group or any one else yet? It could still be too early, but could this literally be a "County Building," with the county owning it? The county has owned that land for 31 years, it's about time they develop it, or at least sell it to someone who will. This is also the biggest project I know of for Northwest? It should be interesting to see how it turns out and if it leads to other "big stuff" from them.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #18
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This is great news for Asheville. That city is growing by leaps and bounds and I love it. I used to think Charleston, SC was my favorite city in the Carolinas. But Asheville is fast becoming my new favorite. I love the architecture.

Ahh yes, about 30 more years and I’ll be ready to retire to a Black Mountain treehouse….







Hopefully they’ll have an urban radio station by then, and it will be “all good!!!”
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Old June 19th, 2005, 11:15 PM   #19
Matthew
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Exclamation Multipath: A major radio problem in Asheville

Try the new 100.7 Downtown. They have a mix of music and programing for the African-American Community. The station is strong Downtown, but as you leave the city limits, the station fades out. Radio in Asheville is in and out. We have bad multi-path problems, due to the mountains. Local stations spit, static and ghost in and out as you drive around town. If you like radio, buy a home or build a home on a mountain and you'll have the radio dial of your dreams. A friend of mine lives in Peach Orchard Estates and can listen to 97-1 Jamz and 95-5 The Beat from Atlanta, while looking down on the Asheville skyline! One of my Mom's friends gets a country station from Charleston (SC) at her ridge top house. You'll find many Charlotte stations reach Asheville also. We share radio and TV with Greenville-Spartanburg. 93.3 (Active Rock), 98.9 (AC), 102.5 (AC) and 106.9 (Christian AC) have the best signal where I live, but it's different from place to place in the area. When I was in high school, many students (at West Henderson) listened to Hot 98-1 for their urban music. A lot of people up here use satellite radio, which works great and has a wide variety of music and programing.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #20
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Is 100.7 exclusive to African-Americans? Or can non African-Americans listen also? Personally I think a better term to describe the station is "urban"

Matthew is this new building being financed by Buncumbe County...or are they just leasing it as an anchor tenet? Also where exactly would this building go..do you have an address
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