Asheville City Council action advances pop-up uses at 68 Haywood Street

Pop-up events at 68 Haywood Street begin this month!

First up is a classic car show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 26, put on by Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church. The People’s Park Foundation will host Asheville history lectures on Monday and Thursday evenings, plus yoga and tai chi on Monday mornings. (See the schedule below.)

Look for the Skunk Trunk’s Bazaar Bazaar at the site the first Sunday’s of the month starting in September (which is almost here).

Separate from the local programs coming to the City-owned property you also may have heard that a little TV show called American Idol will have auditions at 68 Haywood Street this Sunday, Aug. 27.

Asheville City Council got an update on the pop-up programs during their Aug. 22 meeting, in which they considered/approved the waiver of fees for this first round of programming. Moving forward, fees will be charged consistent with the existing outdoor special event permitting process.

Downtown Development Specialist Dana Frankel has worked with staff from many City departments to get this temporary use of the property off the ground.


How we got here

Why temporary uses? That’s because the City-owned properties at 68 Haywood Street and 33 Page Avenue were part of a visioning process authorized by City Council in 2015. Throughout 2016, the Asheville Design Center facilitated discussion by a Council-appointed Community Advisory Team to develop a long-term vision for the properties. Find information about the visioning process, including the Advisory Team’s final report here.

The group also recommended temporary uses on the properties, and Council has directed City staff to to implement while long-term planning continues. Find out more about that process here. One of the goals of Council’s Strategic Priorities as outlined in its Vision 2036 is to develop a plan for 68 Haywood Street land use and implement it as appropriate.


Temporary uses begin

Earlier this summer, the Office of Sustainability worked with the Elder & Sage Community Gardens group to form a community garden on the 33 Page Avenue portion of the site. It is flourishing! New plants and garden décor appear weekly and it has served as a hub for downtown residents and beyond who love to garden.

The City’s Community & Economic Development and Parks & Recreation staffs joined forces to open 68 Haywood Street to the public in July, outfitting it with tables and chairs and planters to make it welcoming. More recently table umbrellas have been added and shade sails are on the way! The site is open for general use from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, when events are not taking place.

A lot of collaboration has gone into getting the site ready for these temporary uses. And with the pop-up programming, City staff hope to come away with perspective on what works best on the site to help inform both short- and long-term decision-making. There will also be opportunities for public input along the way.

Below find the schedule of events planned so far.

Beginning in September, the site will be made available for use through the City’s outdoor special event permitting process, the same as with other City-owned properties. Visit the City’s Outdoor Special Events webpage for information, or contact Economic Development Specialist Jon Fillman at 828-259-5738 or