Neighborhood

Neighborhood Spotlight on Beautiful Black Mountain

Black Mountain sunset

Black Mountain, a town of about 8,000 residents, lies just to the east of Asheville.  It is nestled at the southern end of the Black Mountain Range, a part of the Southern Appalachians.  It is the first small town that you encounter coming West from the foothills of the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

There are so many reasons that Black Mountain is a special place to both visit and reside.  Despite its close proximity to Asheville (it is actually part of the Asheville metropolitan statistical area), it has a flavor entirely its own.  Locals cite its small town feel as a major draw.  With little traffic and lots of charm and friendly faces, it is easy to understand.  Here are some of the reasons that we find this neighborhood so appealing.

Natural Beauty in Black Mountain

MontreatThe town of Montreat lies just to the north of Black Mountain.  At the base of the mountains near the back of Montreat community are many trailheads that you may take for stunning mountain views such as the one at Lookout Mountain.  The Swannanoa River flows from East to West through the Swannanoa Valley and Black Mountain.  

Trails at Warren Wilson College meander along the river, and picnicking along rocky outcroppings is a popular year-round outing. Explore the stunning Point Lookout Greenway Bike Trail by starting in Old Fort and climbing 3.6 miles and 900 feet to Ridgecrest.

Black Mountain Cultural Highlights

Camp Rockmont LEAF FestivalA hub of the community is the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.  Located in the renovated Old City Hall, it hosts exhibits on music, visual and performing arts on a monthly basis.  The area’s dedication to fine art is exhibited by the Ben Long fresco gracing the walls of the Montreat Conference Center.  The Swannanoa Valley Museum in downtown Black Mountain interprets and preserves the cultural, natural and social history of the Swannanoa River Valley.

Each August, thousands of people fill the streets for the annual Sourwood Festival.  This free festival is in its 39th year and features music, dancing, arts and crafts in a family-friendly environment.  Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) is held on the campus of Camp Rockmont and draws a sell-out, arts-loving crowd twice a year.

Black Mountain Public Spaces

Black Mountain’s city park is located just outside of the town center at the lovely Lake Tomahawk.  A half mile loop encircles the lake at the foot of the Seven Sisters Peaks and Greybeard Mountain.  

Montreat Park is a favorite area destination for families.  A wonderful playground sits on the banks of a babbling creek among the laurel thickets where families can all enjoy the lush mountain scenery.

Local Black Mountain Businesses

Pisgah BrewingBlack Mountain is renowned for its crafters and artists.  Check out the gorgeous Seven Sisters Gallery, Song of the Wood Musical Instruments, Black Mountain Ironworks or Black Mountain Quilts. 

Enjoy tea at local teahouse Dobra Tea or coffee at Dripolator Coffeehouse.  A long-standing casual restaurant is Our Father’s Pizza and Pasta or enjoy the country elegance of the Red Rocker Inn. 

For nightlife, you can always join a rowdy crowd at White Horse Black Mountain bar and music venue or journey east a few miles through the Swannanoa Valley to Pisgah Brewing which marries craft beer with nationally touring music in their gorgeous outdoor venue.    

For more 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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The Best-Kept-Secret Neighborhood in West Asheville: Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills Neighborhood Asheville

Just west of the desirable historic West Asheville neighborhood lies the quiet community of Malvern Hills.  This hidden gem of Asheville has a rich history and a vibrant community.  Additionally, as a part of West Asheville, it is a highly walkable community.

The History of Malvern Hills Neighborhood in Asheville

Beginning in the 1820s, people voyaged from the surrounding countryside to this area to enjoy the health benefits of the sulphur springs discovered in these hills by Robert Henry.  By the mid 1800s, as word of the healing waters spread, people would travel here to reap the benefits of the healing waters. They would stay in the Hotel Belmont, and later the Sulphur Springs Hotel, both of which stood in the center of what is now the neighborhood until they burned and were ultimately abandoned in 1891.  Remnants of the spring house can still be seen at the bottom of School Road.

The Landscape of Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills ArchitectureMalvern Hills neighborhood, bordered by Bear Creek Road on the east, Wendover Road on the south, and on the north by School Road, has just over 200 houses within its boundaries.  Patton Avenue provides quick access to downtown Asheville and I-40 while the western end of the neighborhood is bordered by Canie Creek.  This small creek winds through a large wooded tract of land where residents frequently spot deer, bear, and wild turkeys.  A strong movement is currently underway to secure a greenway along this creek.

Infrastructure and Architecture of Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills Community ParkMalvern Hills boasts one of the few areas in west Asheville to have sidewalks lining all roads, thus making it a pedestrian-friendly area. There are three community-maintained landscaped islands, one with a rose garden, where residents  congregate during neighborhood gatherings. Mature trees grace the hilly slopes of this area, and you may glimpse mountain views from some of the hilltops.  

The architecture is a pleasant mix of larger, stately 1920s homes, small bungalows, brick tudor cottages, and mid-century ranch houses.  The lots are of a generous size and are well-maintained.

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

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Further Reading:  A Brief History of Malvern Hills

Further Reading: A neighborhood Profile

 

 

A Look Inside the Downtown Asheville Condo Life

Downtown Asheville Condo

The Downtown Asheville Lifestyle

Asheville Condo BalconyLiving in downtown Asheville is an exciting and convenient way of life, and given the growing number of refurbished and new condo buildings, it is an increasingly popular lifestyle as well. With dozens of incredible restaurants, bars, art galleries and entertainment merely steps away, there is never a dull moment.

Many of the amenities provided by these downtown condominiums are designed to accommodate a walkable lifestyle with easy access to all that you would need.  Features such as in-house gyms, storage closets, common areas and on-site parking help to make that lifestyle possible.

Newer Downtown Asheville Condos

Downtown Asheville CondoA number of new condominium buildings have cropped up in downtown Asheville in recent years, with many of them adopting a mixed-use model.  For example, 12 South Lexington and Lexington Station have commercial spaces on the ground level and multiple housing units in varying sizes above.

A hallmark of many of the newer condos is the use of balconies and terraces in most units. The luxury condos at both 60 North Market and 21 Battery Park feature terraces with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They also both feature rooftop club houses for entertaining guests.

Refurbished Downtown Asheville Condos

Downtown Asheville CondoDowntown Asheville is known for its well-preserved historic district.  Many small independent businesses have moved into the ground floor units of these stunning buildings while the upper floors have turned into mixed use developments with offices as well as residences.

Buildings as old as the 1891 Oxford Place Condos have been refurbished and modernized, providing residences with tons of character and historic charm.  The Broadway Arts Building condos and Sawyer Motor Building Condos feature original hardwood floors and exposed brick walls alongside modern conveniences such as updated electric, plumbing and windows.

Many of these vintage condos have been carefully renovated to provide many of the community features desirable in newer condos as well. For example, 37 Hiawassee and the Kress Building condos have incorporated rooftop terraces for residents to take in the city views, and Ardmion Park, once known as the Sky Club, provides its residents with a community swimming pool and gardens overlooking the city.

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

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Your Ultimate Guide to Asheville and Buncombe County Schools

STEM School Asheville

For families with school-aged children, proximity to strong schools is often a major factor in determining the neighborhood in which to live. Fortunately, in Asheville, we have a wide and diverse selection of fantastic public, private and charter schools. This guide, organized by age of children, provides an overview of the area’s educational institutions.

Public Elementary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Vance Elementary School AshevilleThe Asheville/ Buncombe area is unique in that it operates separate city and county school districts.  

Asheville City Schools system serves the most centrally-located neighborhoods. Their elementary school model is based on a magnet system where families can select their top 3 choices from the 5 differently-themed magnet schools. If there is more demand than availability, a lottery is used for placement. The city school system has a strong partnership with the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Buncombe County School system operates neighborhood-based elementary schools where children attend the school based upon the district in which they live. Students in South Asheville feed into the TC Roberson School district. East Asheville and Fairview students attend A.C. Reynolds district elementary schools. Swannanoa and Black Mountain students attend Owen district schools. West Asheville students attend Enka or Erwin districts. North Asheville and Weaverville students attend North Buncombe School District.  

We recommend that you check the public school district indicated under the Location section of property listings.

Public Middle Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Bike Walk to School AshevilleAsheville Middle School has been the long-standing public middle school for students within the Asheville City Schools district.  New in the 2017-2018 school year is a STEAM-focused alternative middle school option called the Montford North Star Academy.  Both of these middle schools have excellent community partnerships in place.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one middle school, and some have intermediate schools that also serve their district's middle school age children.

Public High Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville High SchoolAsheville High School is the sole high school within the Asheville City Schools district. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus near Mission Hospital.  SILSA operates as a school within a school and has a focus on inquiry and life sciences.  These schools have a long tradition of academic excellence and partner with Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College on college credit coursework.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one high school to serve young adults in that district. Additionally, there is the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy - a STEM school with a focus on college and career readiness.

 

Charter Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Students Outdoor School AshevilleThere are a handful of long-standing charter schools in Buncombe County.  Evergreen Community Charter School is in East Asheville and utilizes an Outward Bound expeditionary learning model to teach Kindergarten through eighth grade students. A newer charter school in West Buncombe, Franklin School of Innovation, offers the same model to fifth through twelfth grade students.

Francine Delany New School for Children, in the heart of West Asheville, serves children Kindergarten through eighth grade with a focus on social justice. ArtSpace Charter school in Swannanoa offers an arts-integrated curriculum to 400 elementary and middle school students.

Private Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville SchoolRainbow Community School is a private, independent alternative education program for preschool through middle aged children. Located in West Asheville, if focuses on whole child education through seven domains.

Carolina Day School is a private school that serves children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.  It is located in south Asheville near Biltmore Forest and is focused on college preparation.

Asheville School is a nationally renowned day and boarding school serving college-bound high school students with a rigorous curriculum. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus in West Asheville.

Several private single-sex middle schools are available in our area. For girls, there is the new French Broad River Academy for Girls and Hanger Hall.  For boys, there is the adventurous French Broad River Academy for Boys.

Emmanuel Lutheran, Asheville Catholic School, Christ School and Asheville Christian Academy are all religious schools in this area serving a wide range of ages.

Post Secondary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

UNC AshevilleAsheville Buncombe Technical Community College, located near downtown Asheville, serves our county for career and technical readiness courses.  

Part of the state university system, University of North Carolina at Asheville offers undergraduate and limited graduate level coursework and is the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the system.

Warren Wilson College is a private four year liberal arts college located in the beautiful Swannanoa River Valley.  It is known for its strong service learning components, creative writing and environmental studies programs.

Montreat College, in the stunning Montreat community just outside of Black Mountain, is a private Christian liberal arts college.  Mars Hill University, 15 miles north of Asheville in Marshall also offers a liberal arts course of study in a private setting.

Pairing a school with a neighborhood can be a difficult balance. We would love to help you make that choice by guiding you on our Neighborhood Familiarization Tour.

Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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