Strategic Development Office

About Us

The Strategic Development Division is part of the City’s Community & Economic Development Department.

The Strategic Development Office (SDO) oversees large scale development and redevelopment projects in key city corridors. This division manages corridor revitalization within Downtown, the River Arts District, the South Slope and North Charlotte Street, and supports arts and cultural development though administration of the Public Art program. We work with designers, developers, businesses and artists to connect to the public's interest across the built environment. We take great pride in our success in bringing together public and private resources to create a quality of life in which residents and businesses thrive.

Strategic Development Districts (Innovation Districts) are mixed use districts in Asheville where the City coordinates investments and resources to increase economic opportunities and enhance sense of place. The boundaries are defined by the City’s municipal service districts, a designation that enables an added mechanism for securing capital funding.

The Division supports Asheville area citizens on issues related to strategic infrastructure redevelopment, arts, culture and placemaking.

logo - Asheville Innovation Districts

logo - Downtown Innovation District

Downtown (the Central Business District) is the urban center of Asheville and the region, serving as a retail, office, hotel, institutional, cultural and entertainment hub in our community. Public and private investment is encouraged through zoning and urban design to support a strong retail center with high density residential development that complements other downtown uses and surrounding neighborhoods. The City’s prioritizes and promotes investments that support a vibrant and walkable downtown environment.


logo - River Arts Innovation District

The River district promotes sustainable planning, redevelopment and growth in the Swannanoa and French Broad River corridors. The River Arts District is a business corridor of working artist studios, river outfitters, retail, bars and restaurants and music venues. Established residential neighborhoods surround the district with in-district residential development emerging. Construction of major works public infrastructure is slated to begin in summer 2017.


logo - South Slope Innovation District

South Slope is just south of Asheville’s traditional downtown area with a mix of uses including breweries, arts, restaurants, residents and industrial businesses. The area is undergoing a transformation from underutilized industrial properties to a vibrant urban neighborhood and destination. Public infrastructure investments are being pursued as part of a community visioning process. This process will kick-off for public input in Fall 2017. 






Charlotte Street Innovation District

North Charlotte Street is lined with new and emerging restaurants and commercial spaces, anchored by established historic residential neighborhoods. Public infrastructure redevelopment plans will consider improved bike, pedestrian and transit access, roadway improvements and utility relocation. Public infrastructure investments are in the visioning stage. This process will kick off in 2018.

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