OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
"The focus of the City of Asheville, Office of Economic Development, is to promote the City's economic development policies through linked and collaborative initiatives that leverage resources to create a vibrant and robust Asheville economy."
Economic Development Incentives Policy
2010 Top 25 Metros for Business & Careers
Business Facilities Magazine
Top 10 Metro Area for Quality of Life
Beer City, USA
Top 10 Southern City
Yahoo! Real Estate
Top 10 Places to Live
| National Geographic Traveler
Top NC Destination
Country Home Magazine
Top 25 Green Cities
Southern Accents Magazine
Top "Favorite Mountain Getaway Town"
Where to Retire Magazine
Top Eight College Towns
National Geographic Adventure
Top 10 Adventure Towns
Supporting Business in and around Asheville
A commercial and social hub of the Southeast, Asheville regularly appears in national lists as one of the top cities in the arts, business climate, outdoor recreation opportunities, retirement, manufacturing, and quality of life. Two of the most recent accolades were appearing in the Forbes magazine list for Top Ten Best Places for Business and Careers, and being named the number two Arts Destinations among Small Cities in America by AmericanStyle magazine. These rankings share a common denominator: a vibrant city, with a culturally and socially diverse atmosphere and a business-friendly mindset.
Though Asheville has thrived over the past decade, there are still a wide variety of opportunities for development. There are spaces for restaurants, small businesses, retail of all sizes, office spaces and light manufacturing. These spaces, spread throughout multiple business districts and suburban areas, offer exposure to varying sectors of the population. The City Council’s strategic operating plan establishes goals to create sustainable, appropriate development within the city limits.
Here at the Office of Economic Development, we strive to form collaborative partnerships and healthy working relationships that support businesses in the multiple clusters of business districts in the City. While we stay actively involved in city development processes, we also partner with outside organizations to address the overall community needs. Among our services, we offer assistance for minority businesses, real estate management and economic planning development.
Asheville City Market
The Asheville City Market, produced in conjunction with the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, operates every Saturday from April to December. Located in the Public Works parking lot on South Charlotte Street, the Market runs from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Market offers produce and goods exclusively from local vendors in an effort to promote sustainability and local farmers. Shoppers can find anything from spring greens to arts and crafts.
Brownfields are abandoned, idled or under-used industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. The US Environmental Protection Agency awarded four Brownfields Assessment Grants to the City of Asheville and Land-of-Sky Regional Council to address Brownfields sites throughout the region. More information available on the LOSRC website.
RENCI Engagement Site
The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) creates partnerships between academia, community organizations and technology to tackle complex environmental issues. In Asheville, the RENCI engagement site exists as a partnership between the City of Asheville, the University of North Carolina at Asheville and ten other local organizations. Formerly located at the AB-Tech Enka campus, in September of 2009, a new RENCI engagement site will open at the Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville. The new site will offer state-of-the art modeling technology and a space for local government boards to meet.
THRIVE in North Carolina
North Carolina has the tangibles that businesses need as well as a lifestyle that helps employees flourish. People are at their best in North Carolina and in this increasingly global economy, happy and productive people are the source of a company's competitive advantage.
Downtown Master Plan
On May 26, 2009, Asheville City Council accepted the Downtown Master Plan, a vision for the future development of Downtown Asheville. The plan addresses issues of development, culture, and historic preservation across five “neighborhoods” of Downtown. An online version of the plan is available here.
Map Asheville, recognized as an Outstanding New Media by the International Economic Development Council in 2008, offers users a variety of mapping features. MapAsheville includes Crime Mapper, a service that allows users to view up-to-date crime statistics; Development Mapper, which contains information about large-scale development projects; and Priority Places, an interactive map focused on economic development projects; among others.
City-owned Land Initiative
The City of Asheville is currently pursuing a process for redeveloping city-owned properties to advance Council’s and the community’s strategic goals for Asheville. The City has released a Request for Proposals for three (3) downtown sites to a short list of development teams selected through a detailed Request for Qualifications process. The City expects to be in negotiations for the three sites during 2008, with construction expected to begin in 2009.
Biltmore Park Town Square
Located approximately ten miles south of Downtown, the newly developed Biltmore Park Town Square combines shopping, dining, movie-going, living, and working into one location. A true Urban Village, the Biltmore Park Town Square mixes high-density housing with commercial needs to become a destination for any purpose.
Boards & Commissions
Office of Economic Development is located on the 5th floor of City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801. Hours: 8:30 a.m.—5:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri.