Asheville News

Industry Abounds in Asheville

Asheville Beer Jobs

Thinking of making a move to Asheville, but wondering about employment and business opportunities? The Asheville area is lucky to have both low unemployment and strong job growth. And it’s no wonder: Very few tourist destinations boast the stable population growth, healthy housing market, growing professional services, strong health-care industry and small-business boom that Asheville does. The population’s unfaltering support of local and independent businesses, coupled with the entrepreneurial spirit so integral to the city, has helped start-ups thrive in recent years, generating even more jobs and business opportunities.

Top 10 Major Asheville Employers

According to the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, the top employers in the area range from medicine to manufacturing to education, in addition to tourism. The four-county Asheville metro is a diverse $16.4 billion economy, with nationally recognized schools, close proximity to many major cities, direct access to I-26 and I-40, and the Asheville airport, with direct flights to Washington and New York, among others. Annual visitors to Asheville number in the millions.

Asheville Employer BiltmoreThe top 10 employers in the Asheville area are:

Mission Health System and Hospital

Buncombe County Public Schools

City of Asheville

The Biltmore Company

Buncombe County Government

The Omni Grove Park Inn

Ingles Markets, Inc.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

VA Medical Center - Asheville Department of Veterans Affairs

Eaton Corporation - Electrical Division

Big Support for Small Business in Asheville

Small Business AshevilleThanks to the kind of startups, incubators, co-working spaces, business community support and commercial resources you’d find in much bigger cities, Asheville is the perfect place for entrepreneurs who want to develop quality products and services while maintaining an enviable quality of life. With an overwhelming majority of businesses in the Asheville metro area employing fewer than 50 people, small businesses and entrepreneurship are active engines fueling the region's diverse business landscape and shaping the economy.

Driven by a city that embraces the impact of small companies on culture and lifestyle, the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Coalition and other community organizations have developed a variety of resources designed to help small businesses succeed.

In addition, services like those offered by the non-profit Mountain Bizworks help small businesses start, grow and create jobs through loans, classes and coaching.

Nowhere is small-business growth more evident than in Asheville’s craft-beer boom. The community support of such local start-ups as Hi-Wire Brewing Co., Burial Beer Co. and Asheville Brewing – to name just a few – has helped fuel a cycle of growth that has spurred job creation and even greater entrepreneurial drive. And the country is watching: Local start-up successes have drawn the likes of such national heavy-hitters as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium brewery, whose second U.S. facility, based in West Asheville on the French Broad River, generated 140 new jobs when it opened in 2016.

Most who choose to relocate to Asheville are driven by the area’s natural beauty, range of outdoor activities, and greatly heightened lifestyle. Now you can add incredible employment opportunities to the mix. For a guided tour of all the Asheville real estate market has to offer, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Summer Festivals in Downtown Asheville are Getting Warmed Up

LEAF Festival Downtown Asheville

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo credit: David Simchock

With summer right around the corner, the weather isn’t the only thing heating up in Asheville: festival season is about to kick into high gear. Downtown Asheville boasts a range of festivals to fit just about every interest – and Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, an ardent supporter of cultural events that create community, is sponsoring three of the biggest.

Xpand Fest

Asheville Downtown FestivalThe inaugural outdoor event for Asheville-based arts non-profit Xpand Your Vision, Xpand Fest comes to the South Slope June 10. The free street festival, stretching along Banks and Buxton Ave., will feature a variety of vendors, artist booths, live music and other performances. Musical guests include The Broadcast, The Secret B Sides, and Supatight; the local food vendors and special festival brew provided by Bhramari Brewhouse will keep attendees sated. Xpand Fest highlights music and arts as an innovative tool toward inclusive development and believes the arts are a powerful platform for social change. Xpand Fest will include information on the Sustainable Development Goals created at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit and will highlight local organizations that are making conscious business decisions to better our community. http://xyvision.org/xpand-fest

Shindig on the Green

Celebrating the toe-tapping music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia, Shindig on the Green kicks off its 51st season July 1 on Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Drawing scores of locals and visitors alike, the free event, which will run most Saturdays until Sept. 2, features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park from 7-10 p.m. With concessions available from Okie Dokies Smokehouse and The Hop Ice Cream Café, you can bring your blanket or lawn chair and make an evening of it, listening to long-standing house band The Stoney Creek Boys and other bluegrass and old-time string bands, and watching cloggers from around Western North Carolina.

LEAF Downtown AVL

Pack Square Asheville Festivalsphoto credit: K2 Media

Celebrating local community, this popular family-friendly festival brings Downtown Asheville’s Pack Square alive on Aug. 4 and 5 with three stages featuring a dynamic range of national, regional and local talent. LEAF Downtown, a free event in its third year, starts early afternoon Friday, and on Saturday kicks off at 9 a.m with an all-ages LEAF Art Dash 5K. Festival-goers can enjoy eats from local food trucks while engaging with family and friends and tuning into a rich range of music including old-time, folk, hip hop, Americana, blues, and deep Appalachian. Rounding out the fun are Easel Rider (Asheville’s Mobile Art Lab), costume tents, roaming kids’ artists, puppets, jugglers,face-painting, parades and circus arts. Enrichment activities, cultural exchanges, and civic engagement will also take place at the Voices of Asheville Tent through a series of collaborative community alliances. Festivities wind down when the park closes at 10 p.m.

For more information about our area, or about real estate in Asheville, contact Mike Figura at (828) 337-8190, or email him at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com

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Asheville Company is First Carbon Neutral Real Estate Firm in NC

Mosaic Realty Partners with WNCGBC in a Local Solution to Global Pollution

Mosaic Realty AshevilleAsheville, NC: Local Real Estate firm Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is now officially the first real estate agency in North Carolina to obtain the status of carbon neutral. Longtime supporters of Western North Carolina Building Council (WNCGBC), Mosaic Realty has recently strengthened their partnership by participating in Appalachian Offsets, a program of WNCGBC. By calculating the company’s net carbon output and offsetting it by paying into local green energy projects, they ensure that they are proactively taking steps to address climate change.

According to Dictionary.com, carbon neutrality is having achieved a state in which the net amount of carbon dioxide is reduced to zero because it is balanced by action to reduce or offset these emissions.  In order to participate in Appalachian Offsets, all 21 Mosaic agents have committed to paying a yearly sum reflective of their part of carbon emissions for the company. The funds collected benefit a local nonprofit, school or affordable-housing provider needing an energy-efficiency upgrade.

Appalachian Offsets AshevilleSam Ruark-Eastes, Executive Director of the WNCGBC, explains, “Appalachian Offsets is the bridge that matches companies and individuals looking to offset their emissions with organizations who need support cutting energy cost and upgrading their facilities.” Mike Figura, owner of Mosaic Realty, sees the value of this service to his business. “Mosaic Realty operates on a triple bottom line principle of People, Planet and Profit. We measure our success based on those three categories. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our environment and species, and Appalachian Offsets offers us a way to take action on a local level to help make a positive impact”, states Figura.

Asheville Appalachian OffsetsBut the partnership between Mosaic and WNCGBC does not stop here. In order to help Asheville  become a carbon neutral community, Mosaic realtors working with buyers connect their clients to WNCGBC’s Green Gauge program. Green Gauge is an innovative home assessment tool that helps residents save money, reduce energy usage and live in homes that are healthier for themselves and the environment. Connecting new residents to some of Asheville’s invaluable resources and programs is a great entrance into this environmentally aware community.

About Mosaic Realty: Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a boutique real estate firm made up of 21 professional, full-time brokers who live in Asheville. We specialize in green, historic and in-town properties. Commitment to supporting our local and global community has been at the heart of this downtown Asheville real estate firm since its formation in 2010. In 2016, Mosaic donated over $77,000 to 48 non-profits, including the WNCGBC.

For more information about living in Asheville, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Your Guide to the Past, Present and Future of Greenways in Asheville

Bikes ParkFor many people, the image of friends, couples, children and retirees gathering together at a city’s parks, and arriving there in multifaceted ways, brings about a feeling of community well-being.  In an increasingly busy and crowded world, we often make choices about our homes based upon access and proximity to public parks and alternative transportation.  

Asheville, North Carolina is no exception to this. The housing market within the city of Asheville is booming, and homes with proximity to greenways are not staying on the market for long.  Check out the history of Asheville’s greenways, the current state, and where the greenways are headed here.

The History of Greenways in Asheville

In the three decades prior to 2015, Asheville claimed only 5 miles of greenway with little connectivity between them.  This allowed for isolated pockets of greenway enjoyment but major obstacles to promoting alternative and green methods of transportation.  Greenways that are long-standing in Asheville include the French Broad River Park Greenway and Reed Creek Greenway near UNCA and the city center.

The Current State of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville ParkThe City of Asheville helps to maintain 4 greenways currently, the largest being the French Broad River Greenway at 2.83 miles in length.  It is mostly an 8 foot wide asphalt path that meanders from the Hominy Creek trailhead, through Carrier Park, along Amboy Road and to the French Broad River Park and dog park.  It provides connectivity for Asheville’s largest and most frequented park system.

Glen’s Creek Greenway connects Weaver Park in North Asheville to UNCA and and the Botanical Gardens; it is nearly a mile in length. Nearby, Reed Creek Greenway (.7 miles long) connects the historic Montford neighborhood to the UNCA area and Glen Creek Greenway. Finally, the Riverbend Park Greenway (nearly .5 miles long) hugs the Swannanoa River in east Asheville.

The Future of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville GreenwayThe master plan for greenways in Asheville has a goal of creating a 15 mile system composed of 12 interconnected corridors.  This River to Ridge Greenway and Trail network would encircle downtown Asheville.  It would reach into the River Arts District, French Broad River Greenways, Southslope Greenway Connector, Beaucatcher Greenway and Urban Trail.  

The use of multi-paths for both transportation and recreation has consistently ranked high on the public’s list of infrastructure projects that it values. Additionally, governments outside of the city of Asheville are beginning to catch the greenway bug.  Both the town of Woodfin and Buncombe County governments are advocating for connectivity with the Asheville greenway system.

A major goal of the project is to connect people to some of the beautiful assets of our area: the mountains and the rivers.

For more information on our area or real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Sources: Asheville Citizen Times article, February 2017

The City of Asheville

 

 

The Skinny on Restaurant Week 2017 in Asheville NC

Restaurant Week

Our small mountain city of Asheville has received wide acclaim of late for a multitude of reasons.  Recognition as a food destination is a growing reason that we have landed a coveted place on the culinary map in national publications.  Magazines such as Bon Appetit have featured Asheville as a foodie heaven on the cover, alongside huge metropolises such as New York, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Asheville Restaurant WeekComing up this month, you have the opportunity to bundle up and hit the street to try out some of the delicious, independent restaurants in our city that are making magic out of local, farm-fresh ingredients.  Asheville’s Restaurant Week is set for January 21st through 27th, and is organized annually by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Plan your dining out carefully, because there are too many wonderful eateries to name. Some of our favorites include Buffalo Nickel, Chestnut, Storm, Curate and Wicked Weed.  At lunch, enjoy a $15 two-course meal for one person. Two dinner options include a $35 three-course meal for one or a $30 dinner for two people.  Reservations are strongly recommended! More information about Restaurant Week can be found here: https://www.exploreasheville.com/restaurant-week/

For more information on happenings or real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Shop Your Local Farmer's Market in the Middle of Winter in Asheville

Fresh Bread

Winter food selections at the grocery store got you down? We have a deliciously local, fresh, sustainable and tasty solution!  The YMCA Indoor Winter Market will keep you toasty while browsing and send you home with an armload of fresh edibles.

This lovely market is held in two different locations, the Crosspoint Community Church at 119 Cumberland in downtown Asheville and the YMCA at Mission Pardee Campus in Fletcher.  The opening of the winter market is Saturday, January 7th, with subsequent dates each Saturday from 10:00am to 12:30pm from January until the outdoor tailgate markets begin with the warmer weather.

Winter Farmers MarketYou will find among the stalls a wide selection of winter greens, mushrooms and vegetables. Additionally there are local vendors offering meats, fish, cheese, breads, pasta, and baked goods.  Speciality products such as vinegars, homeopathic herbal remedies, local wine, soaps, lotions and more are abundant as well.

Lisa Riggsbee, program coordinator, states, “we are excited about the Winter Market season.  It is a great place to enjoy locally made food and craft, as well as a welcoming place for fellowship and to learn from each other.”

Among other farms, the following are represented at this market: Wildwood Herbal, Spinning Spider Creamery, East Fork Farm, Creasman Farms, Meadow Cove Farm, Sleight Family Farm, and Farmin’ the Sky.  Detailed information about the market is listed at Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture's website here.

Winter Market AshevilleCome out to the YMCA Indoor Winter Market to enjoy fresh food, local vendors and a fantastic community of proactive and healthy individuals from in and around Asheville!

For more information on living in our community or on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Shop Locally in Asheville to Support Public Schools

Go Local Asheville

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many people’s thoughts are turning toward gift procurement. It is easy to fall into the trap of online shopping with all of the convenience it offers.  Let us point out an alternative with many benefits, including support of our local businesses, support of our local schools and, of course, the coveted convenience!

2017 Go LocalThe Go Local card is a program of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance that features over 400 locally-owned independent businesses in our area.  Purchasing a card is a fantastic way to make a commitment to supporting the thriving and unique business culture in Asheville as well as supporting local public schools.  The 2016 card raised over $18,000 for our public schools and the goal is to surpass that number in 2017.

The 2017 Go Local card will be available to purchase by the end of November at Asheville Grown and in the offices of local public schools. Cards are also available at a discount in bulk (think holiday shopping in one fell swoop)!  Half of the price of the $16 card goes to support local public schools.  You may either designate a school to support or have it spread evenly across all of the city public schools.

This powerful card has membership benefits in many categories, including Eats Drinks and Entertainment, Fashion and Accessories, Professional Services, Health and Beauty, Outdoors and more!  The full list of discounts can be found here.

For more information on residing in our lively community, or on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Light up the Holidays in Asheville at the NC Arboretum

Winter Lights Asheville

The holiday season is not complete without a trip to scout out the best winter light displays in the area. Here, we would like to highlight one display that is created and hosted by one of our favorite Asheville area organizations, the North Carolina Arboretum.

The North Carolina Arboretum, located on the southwest side of town off of Highway 191, is a favorite destination in warmer months due to its stunning landscape displays and fantastic exhibits.  In the past few years, they have extended their viewing season by offering up an incredible winter light display, and many area residents are beginning to claim it as a family holiday tradition.

Arboretum Winter LightsThe 3rd Annual Winter Lights Holiday Lights Exhibit opens on Friday, November 18th and runs through Sunday, January 1st, from 6 to 10 pm every night.  Visitors walk through a self-guided tour of nearly 500,000 energy-efficient LED lights arranged to highlight the natural beauty and landscapes of the Arboretum.

Highlights of the exhibit include a projection show and educational program about animal hibernation during winter. Other attractions include a 50 foot animated tree, Rocky Cove G-Scale model train and lighted Quilt Garden.  You can purchase festive food and beverage at the cafe, including hot cocoa, s’mores, wine and beer.

Attending this event not only allows you to meander through a winter wonderland, but proceeds from the Winter Lights fundraiser will help the Arboretum to expand its educational programs, exhibits and facilities year-round.

Arboretum Winter LightsWinter Lights tickets are available for purchase online at www.ncwinterlights.com. All tickets must be purchased in advance and are date-specific. Pricing is $18 for adults and $16 for children (ages 5 to 11), not including handling fees and required sales tax. Children age four and under are free.

Mosaic Realty is a huge supporter of the North Carolina Arboretum because we believe in its mission of cultivating connections between people and plants.  For more information on our fantastic community or real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Appalachian Offsets: A Local Solution to Global Pollution

Tree in Light Bulb

A Program of Western North Carolina Green Building Council

Appalachian OffsetsWestern North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC) is bringing back it’s locally focused carbon-offsetting program due to community demand!  This innovative local program allows area residents to calculate their carbon footprint and then offset it by paying into a community fund.  The community fund then supports energy-efficient upgrades at local nonprofits, low-income housing and schools.

Executive director of the WNCGBC, Sam Ruark Eastes, states, “the scientific consensus is in.  Climate change is happening and is greatly influenced by the burning of fossil fuels.” The average United States resident was responsible for 18 tons of carbon dioxide in one year.  This number is almost 4 times greater than the global average of 4.6 tons, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration report in 2011 (the last year of the data).

Two grants have helped to bring the Appalachian Offsets program back into action.  It encourages individuals to first offset their own carbon footprint.  Then, they can pay into a fund that helps the community as a whole.  

Making a Difference in Asheville

UNCA AHAAn example of a project that is funded would be upgrading inefficient lighting and supporting clean energy within area organizations.  In 2007, UNCA students volunteered with the Asheville Housing Authority to replace 13,000 inefficient incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.  This initiative helped reduce carbon emissions by 3, 790 tons annually and saved the Housing Authority and its residents about $250,000 annually!

“Appalachian Offsets is the bridge that matches companies and individuals looking to offset their emissions with organizations who need support cutting energy costs and upgrading their facilities,” Ruark Eastes said.

You can get involved by going to the program’s website: www.cutmycarbon.org!  Here, you can use the carbon calculator to see your own or your business’ carbon footprint.  Additionally,you can also learn more about the projects that will be supported by offsets you may choose to purchase.

Mosaic Realty is proud to be a supporter of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council.  For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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4 Ideas for Fall Family Fun in Asheville, NC

Apple Orchard Asheville

There is no greater time to appreciate the abundant beauty of our area than autumn.  The colors become electric as the air turns crisp.  Fall in Asheville brings with it several associations for us, and seeking out these traditions in the name of family fun is a great way to spend time together!

Asheville Area Corn Mazes

Corn MazeThe campus of Eliada Homes offers 12 acres with 4 miles of twisting and turning trails through their corn field.  This has been an Asheville tradition for years, with families flocking to their West Asheville location by the van-full.  Annually, the event brings in 20,000 visitors and is ranked among the top corn mazes in the nation.  All funds raised benefit Eliada Homes, serving children and families since 1906.

For a smaller corn maze experience, head out to Hickory Nut Gap Farm, where just a stone’s throw from their country store, children can explore the corn maze and then return to the farm store for fresh cider.  The farm is located just 10 miles southeast of Asheville.  

Apple Orchards: A WNC Tradition

Sky Top Orchard offers incredible scenery as you pick your own apples surrounded by panoramic mountain views.  Children will delight in the sights of the geese, ducks, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and peacocks.  Sky Top is famous for its apple cider doughnuts and lasting memories!

Pumpkins-a-Plenty

Pumpkins AshevillePicking the perfect pumpkin is a fun and easy task with so many local and convenient options in Asheville.  The Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market has a plethora of pumpkins as well as gourds and other fall harvest decorations.  Many area churches hold pumpkin adoptions as fundraisers to benefit charities they support.  Hickory Nut Gap also features a pumpkin patch for your own picking.  


Leaf Color in Asheville

Fall Leaves AshevilleFamily fun in the autumn can be as simple as a drive to see the amazing colors on our deciduous trees, with some pit stops for the children to stomp in the leaves.  Because we live near so many state and national parks, a short drive pays huge dividends in satisfaction.  Mid to late October is known as “peak leaf season”, and there is no better time to hit the Blue Ridge Parkway with a picnic basket in hand.  There are vistas all along the drive, but larger stop-off points include Craggy Gardens and Mount Pisgah.

Don’t forget to plan ahead for trick or treating!  Here is our guide to the Halloween scene in Asheville’s neighborhoods.

For more information about our area or to learn about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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