Projects & Initiatives

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    This project will construct a 2.2 mile piece of the Wilma Dykeman Riverway, a planned17-mile multi-modal corridor in Asheville along the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers. In addition to improved intersections and bridge reconstruction, the project includes roadway improvements, sidewalks, bike lanes, greenways, on-street parking, and stormwater improvements. For more information on this project please click here.




    In 2007, the Asheville City Council authorized and funded the development of a Master Plan for Downtown Asheville. During the fall and winter of 2007-8, city staff and the Downtown Commission went through an RFQ selection process and selected Goody Clancy of Boston to create the master plan. Goody Clancy began work in Asheville in April 2008 and a series of public input meetings were held in 2008 with the final public input meeting being held in January 2009. The final plan was brought to City Council in May 2009, and was adopted. 

    To View the Master Plan Documents

    Final Downtown Master Plan

    Final Downtown Master Plan Appendices

    Note: Council adopted the plan, but not the Appendices.  The Appendices are additional information and recommendations for the community to consider as it moves forward.

    Implementation of the Plan

    The Downtown Commission, which is a Council appointed board, is enabled through its ordinance to develop and implement plans for Downtown. The Downtown Commission has appointed an ad-hoc committee, called the Downtown Master Plan Action Committee, which will work towards the specific roles in downtown or are stakeholders in particular areas. In addition, there are a variety of points of view on each committee. The Action Committee is made up of five subcommittees: Arts and Culture; Historic Preservation; Transportation and Parking; Urban Design & Development; and Downtown Management. These five subcommittees will work concurrently and periodically come together to discuss progress on the plan goals.

    Economic Benefit Study

    The Downtown Management subcommittee has been working over the last 2 years to potentially implement a business improvement district for Downtown Asheville.   As part of the committee’s due diligence, the committee recommended an economic benefit study be carried out to show whether or not there would be benefits to business and property owners who pay into a district.  This study was supported by three entities: Asheville Downtown Association, the City of Asheville, and Buncombe County.   The study was carried out by Dr. Steve Ha of Western Carolina University. Click here to access the study (updated 12/14/11).



    The WNC Passenger Rail Initiative is a partnership between several municipalities in the region, engaged citizens (especially the WNC Rail Corridor Committee), and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Rail Division. The City’s involvement in the initiative is led by the Office of Economic Development.


    Project Background

    The City’s past involvement included leading the site selection team for the future passenger rail depot, and providing general support for the Passenger Rail initiative across the state of North Carolina. 
    The depot site selection team’s work led to the purchase (co ownership between NCDOT Rail Division and the City of Asheville) of 81 Thompson Street in Biltmore Village; the site is directly north and across the tracks from Biltmore Village’s former depot (now a restaurant). part of the City’s Riverfront District. Participation by the City in recent years has been limited for various reasons.


    Current Status

    The Office of Economic Development has resumed coordination of information and resources towards the support for Passenger Rail service restoration to Asheville and Buncombe County, and the development of a multimodal passenger rail depot at 81 Thompson Street. It is expected that this City project will be supported by public/private partnerships, including guidance from the newly established Riverfront Redevelopment Commission. This project will serve as a catalytic project for Riverfront Redevelopment.



    Background Information

    Land-of-Sky website and adopted document

    East of the Riverway Sustainable Mulitmodal Neighborhood Initiative Proposal Summary Updated 10-29-10

    East of the Riverway Work Plan Updated 10-29-10

    Downtown Asheville Business Improvement District Formation Report

    Chapter 7 of the Downtown Master Plan recommended creating a Downtown Management Entity to manage and coordinate downtown services, and augment city services to keep "downtown clean, green and safe, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week". The Downtown Management Committee and an Interim Board have worked over the past 2 years to bring a proposal to City Council. This report has been submitted by the Interim Board and the Downtown Management Committee. The report describes a Business Improvement District for downtown Asheville. The public hearing for the district was held on June 12, 2012 and continued on October 9, 2012. City Council approved formation of the district on October 9, 2012, but did not authorize additional taxes for the district.

    To view the Business Improvement District Report, click here.

    Attachment B - Article 23, Municipal Service Districts

    Attachment C - Survey Results

    Attachment D - Economic Benefit Study

    For additional information about Economic Development Projects & Initiatives, contact 828-232-4505.





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