City Council gives go-ahead for lease agreement with Buncombe County for new East Asheville Library

Architectural rendering of the new East Asheville Library
Architectural rendering of the new East Asheville Library.



East Asheville will get a new library — in its same location — following action by Asheville City Council to authorize a land lease to Buncombe County for the library.


During their April 9 meeting, Council voted to authorize a 99-year lease of 1.8 acres of property at 902-904 Tunnel Road for $1 per year. Buncombe County has operated an East Asheville Library on this property based on a verbal agreement with the City for years. Under the terms, the County will take responsibility for maintenance and improvements of the grounds.


Buncombe County has developed plans to build a $5.8 million library on a 1.8-acre portion of the property. The existing library building would be demolished to make way for a 14,800-square-foot, one-story facility that would include a multi-use room, a large meeting room, staff offices, parking and a café. A new playground is included as part of the library project. An existing basketball court on the property will be resurfaced.


A parking lot would separate the library use from the existing Asheville Fire Station #8, which is located in front of the library. The new library would serve as an East Asheville meeting space, in place of an older City recreation center.


Demolition of the existing structure would begin in summer 2019, followed by construction of the new library.


The City’s lease with the LEAF organization at this site expires in June. LEAF will relocate to the Del Cardo Building on Eagle Market Place.


“The new East Asheville Library will substantially benefit both City and County residents,” said City Manager Debra Campbell. “Additionally, this agreement strengthens the City’s partnership with Buncombe County.”


The County conducted extensive community engagement and found there was support for the new library.


Find the staff report, Council resolution and related documents at this link.