8 River Arts Place Leasing Opportunity

Happening Now

***UPDATE 10/27/21: The City of Asheville is excited to announce that the lease for 8 River Arts Place has been awarded to Black Wall Street AVL. This occurred in a City Council vote held on 10/26/21. The City received 5 proposals and believed that Black Wall Street AVL’s vision was the best fit for the space and City Council priorities. You can read their winning proposal here.**

**UPDATE 6/1/21: A third addendum to the RFP has been posted. This addendum contains questions and answers about the site and the RFP. This will be the first of two addenda with questions and answers; the second deadline for questions is June 15, with answers posted by June 22.*** 

**UPDATE 5/21/21: A second addendum to the RFP has been posted. This addendum modifies the timeline for the RFP process and adds a third date option for the mandatory site visit of June 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.**

**UPDATE 5/14/21: An addendum to the RFP has been posted. This addendum adds a second date option for the mandatory site visit. Prospective applicants may now choose to complete their mandatory site visit on either Monday, May 17, or Monday, May 24.**

The City of Asheville’s Real Estate Division presents an exciting opportunity to lease the unique 8 River Arts Place facility in the heart of the River Arts District (RAD). A Request for Proposals, or RFP, was issued on May 11, 2021. (View the RFP here) The RFP will ask businesses to submit their best plans for how they will creatively use and manage the space, along with how much they propose to pay.  

The City strongly encourages local small business owners to apply, and most especially business owners of color and women. The goals for this renovated space are to help expand opportunities for these historically underutilized businesses, and for the space to be used wisely. The City seeks a tenant who will contribute to the vitality of the area by providing a service that is both new to and appropriate for the area. 

For businesses or nonprofit organizations seeking financial support or technical assistance, please see the available community resources here.




About the Site

8 River Arts Place is a small, historic space in the River Arts District. The indoor space totals 1,064 square feet. There is an outdoor deck area which totals 1,310 square feet. There is a small parking lot with 13 spaces. Radiant heat is used. 

The site has some limitations. The building is minimally insulated and there is no air conditioning. There are restrooms available, but they must remain open to the public. Due to the limited parking, large gatherings held at the site may need to use shuttles to and from nearby public parking areas.















Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD) represents the rebirth of the City’s historic industrial area as a vibrant enclave of creativity and a gathering place for Asheville’s residents and visitors. The City is currently completing its transportation and recreational improvements, including wider roads, bike lanes, and greenways. 

The RAD is rapidly becoming a thriving neighborhood with residential housing, and businesses will have the customers they need to succeed. The area will benefit from the French Broad River’s abundant recreational opportunities. In addition, Riverside Drive is a major transportation corridor. People will be able to ride bicycles, walk on greenways and visit park areas. The City is looking for a business that will add to the wide variety of businesses in the area while providing goods and services specifically to those groups already using the district. 



March-April 2021: Community outreach about leasing opportunity

May 11, 2021: Request for Proposals issued 

May 17, 2021: Mandatory site visit for applicants planning to submit proposals. Drop in anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

May 24, 2021: Second date for mandatory site visit for applicants planning to submit proposals. Drop in anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Prospective applicants need to choose only one of these dates for the mandatory site visit.

June 1, 2021: First Deadline for questions

June 8, 2021: Responses for questions posted as addendum

June 11, 2021: Third date option for mandatory site visit for applicants planning to submit proposals.Drop in anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Prospective applicants need to choose only one of these dates for the mandatory site visit.

June 15, 2021: Second Deadline for questions

June 22, 2021: Addendum posted with answers to second round of questions.

July 20, 2021: Deadline for submissions by 4:00 p.m.

August 10, 2021: Review completed by City staff

Early Fall, 2021: Presentation to Planning & Economic Development Committee

Early Fall, 2021: City Council Approval

TBD: Lease start date


Frequently Used Terms

RAD – River Arts District, The area from the on-ramp of I-40 near Southern States to Depot Street as it parallels the French Broad River

RFP – Request for Proposals, Detailed instructions are provided so that all respondents know what type of written response is being solicited.


Supporting Documents

Photo Gallery of 8 River Arts Place

Wilma Dykeman Riverway Plan

City Council’s Strategic Priorities and Vision 2036

Resources for Small Businesses and Organizations


Contact Information

Ellen McKinnon, Real Estate Division

Stephanie Dahl, Planning and Urban Design Department