walkable

River Arts District Neighborhood of Asheville = RAD

River Arts District Asheville

Undeniably, the neighborhood in Asheville that is undergoing the most radical change at the moment is the River Arts District.

This district is situated just southwest of downtown Asheville, nestled between the bustling central business district, historic Biltmore Village and funky West Asheville.  The French Broad River defines the neighborhood’s western border and brings with it many eager river adventurers.  However, it has not always been quite the cultural hub that it is now.

History of the River Arts District in Asheville

Historic River Arts District AshevilleBy the late 1800s, Asheville’s industrial district had settled in the low-lying area surrounding the French Broad River.  During this time, the railroad, still active today as the Norfolk Southern, brought scores of people to town.

In the 1980s, as downtown Asheville began to see a slow renaissance and artists faced higher rents there, many of them set up shop in the industrial buildings lining the banks of the French Broad River.  1994 marked the first official studio stroll, and hence the name River Arts District began to take effect.  

Around the turn of the century, a few Asheville entrepreneurs began to recognize the opportunity in the area and set up businesses such as the Grey Eagle Music Hall and the Wedge Brewery, which are still thriving today.  The momentum has continued through the last 15 years with many businesses experiencing success in the area.

Today, there are plans for a Visitor’s Center with public parking and restrooms and many other improvements in the works.  The city was awarded a federal grant titled Tiger VI to improve transportation in and around the River District.  Ahead of the improved infrastructure, many local businesses are looking to be a part of this area.

River Arts District Culture

River Arts StudiosThis neighborhood is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Asheville. (Link)  It’s friendliness to alternative transportation is only increasing as the city is investing more and more in infrastructure for greenways, sidewalks and bike lanes.  

The plethora of craft beers, artisan cocktails, fine dining and casual bites to eat is overwhelming and on the rise.  Our detailed blog post on river culture in Asheville lays out some of our favorite destinations in the River Arts District as well as some outstanding pass times.

Architectural Styles of the River Arts District

 Historic cottages dot the hillside of Chicken Hill, facing west over the river and south over the center of the business district.  In the past few years, some historic industrial buildings have been renovated to include studio apartments near artists’ studio spaces.  

New construction is popping up all along the River Arts District featuring mostly condos and modern style homes.  These homes are designed to reduce urban sprawl and to take advantage of the walkability of this neighborhood.

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

Search: View all homes for sale in the River Arts District

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Sources/Further Reading: The History of the River Arts District

 

 

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.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Search: View all homes for sale in Malvern Hills

Further Reading:  A Brief History of Malvern Hills

Further Reading: A neighborhood Profile

 

 

4 Benefits of Buying a Historic Home in Asheville

Historic Home Kenilworth Asheville

Part of the wide appeal of Asheville is its aesthetic.  Though it is a small city, nestled among the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains, it draws in flocks of tourists.  Many of these tourists eventually make their way into the charming historic neighborhoods of Asheville and are drawn in by the architectural beauty of these well-preserved homes. This is evidenced by the quickly growing population and popularity of Asheville.

The Craftsmanship and Strength of Historic Homes is Unmatched

Unique Coffered Ceiling DesignOlder homes, particularly those that were built before World War 1, are typically built of much higher quality materials than newer homes.  You will often find rare hardwoods such as heart pine and wood from old-growth forests.  Rare gems such as copper adornments and opalescent glass exemplify the handmade nature of these buildings.

America is currently undergoing a type of downtown revival.  Residents and tourists alike are enjoying the cultural hub provided by historic centers.  Start-up businesses such as bookstores and restaurants are thriving in these historic locations.  Historic neighborhoods close to these city centers are increasingly appealing for their vibrancy and walkability.

Possible Tax Incentives

As of January of 2016, the North Carolina legislature has put into effect a historic rehabilitation tax credit program.  This program provides a great incentive to taxpayers who rehabilitate their homes or income-producing properties.  These incentives for improving historic structures are an important tool for historic preservation in North Carolina.  Additionally, a federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic homes consists of a 20% credit for qualifying income-producing historic properties that have been rehabilitated.

Adaptive Reuse is Environmentally Friendly

Far superior to demolition, the concept of adaptive reuse encourages people to preserve the structural assets in place.  This saves a lot of energy that goes into the manufacture, transportation and assembly of new building materials.  Historical buildings’ energy efficiency can always be improved upon, and the latest building technologies are making that increasingly easy.

You Are Preserving History

Ideal Yard for Pets and PlayAsheville is a place of deep-rooted history.  A small group of big-dreaming activists played a large role in helping to stop the demolition of many of downtown Asheville’s historic buildings to put in a strip mall.  Fortunately, they were able to stop the destruction, and preservationists stepped in with a Public Works program that encouraged business owners to preserve the historic buildings and create businesses within their walls.  Today, Asheville has a vibrant downtown and many of the businesses are housed in architecturally astounding structures.

Similarly, many devoted homeowners have moved into the many historic neighborhoods around Asheville, and with a little TLC, have preserved these stately homes.  Examples of this can bee seen in the Victorian and Queen Anne homes in Montford, pebble dash cottages in Biltmore Village, charming bungalows in West Asheville and Colonial Revival and Tudor homes of Grove Park, among many others.

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

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Sources and Further Reading: National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Preservation North Carolina 

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.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Search: View all homes for sale near greenways

Sources: Asheville Citizen Times article, February 2017

The City of Asheville

 

 

Spotlight on Asheville Neighborhoods: Five Points and UNC-Asheville

UNC Asheville Campus

In a triangle tucked between the Merrimon and Broadway Avenue corridors, just north of downtown Asheville, is the neighborhood known collectively as Five Points and UNC-Asheville. Lining the cluster of prime residential homes that makes up Five Points are an array of businesses – groceries, spas, coffee shops, bed and breakfast inns – all easily accessible by foot. The Five Points and UNC-Asheville area features a range of 1920s and ’30s bungalows mixed with a growing number of modern-style residences, making a stroll through the streets a feast for the eyes.

Five Points Neighborhood AshevilleBordering the north end of Five Points is the University of North Carolina at Asheville (the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the UNC system and home to an array of events open to the public), the regionally renowned North Asheville Tailgate Market, and the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Headquarters is also located in the neighborhood.

A Walkable Asheville Neighborhood

High Five Coffee Shop AshevilleResidents of Five Points have the distinct privilege of being within walking distance of a collection of popular specialty grocery stores – Greenlife (Whole Foods), Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter – along with favorite meeting spots Five Points Restaurant and High Five Coffee. Try the Diablo at High Coffee, pictured at left. At the tip of the triangle sits the Moog Music Factory, where the world-famous Moog Music synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments are designed and handcrafted, and where visitors can play the gear, or take a free factory tour to see employees at work building some of the most innovative instruments in the world. This walkable neighborhood boasts sidewalks lining many streets.

UNC-Asheville: An Asheville Community Gem

UNC-Asheville offers amazing resources not only for its students, but for the general public as well. The university sponsors a wide range of cultural and academic events, concerts, lectures, movie screenings and the like, both on campus and off, year-round. In addition, programs like the Family Business Forum and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are specifically designed to educate and support the Asheville community.

Botanical Gardens of Asheville and Tailgate Market

Botanical Gardens AshevilleBordering the UNCA campus is the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, a 10-acre independent, non-profit botanical gardens dedicated to the study and promotion of the native plants and habitats of the Southern Appalachians. Admission is free, and the gardens boast trails lined with meandering creeks and stunning scenery perfect for spending a sunny afternoon.

The North Asheville Tailgate Market (whose 2017 season runs from April 1-Nov. 18) sets up shop on the UNCA campus every Saturday from 8 a.m. til noon. Since 1980, the market has provided visitors with a full range of local, sustainably produced produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, plants, prepared foods and crafts. With more than 40 vendors and over 40,000 annual customers, the market’s energetic and warm environment exemplifies the celebrated diversity of Asheville’s community.

For a personally guided tour of the Five Points and UNCA area, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Magical Montford, An Asheville Jewel

Historic Montford

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more walkable, picturesque neighborhood in Asheville than the historic district of Montford. Taking a stroll through this visually vibrant neighborhood is to step back in time, to a period of rich architectural influences reflective of the cosmopolitan character of the city at the turn of the 20th century. Every block brings a brilliant array of Victorian, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts styles combined with Neoclassical, Colonial Revival and castle-like motifs; in addition, popping up are pockets of new green homes, seamlessly tying the present to the past. Joining them is an eclectic mix of restaurants, including Nine Mile (www.ninemileasheville.com), chiesa (www.chiesaavl.com) and Tod’s Tasties (www.todstasties.com).

Montford’s Rich History

Historic Montford AshevilleLocated off Montford Ave., a quick walk to downtown Asheville, and roughly bordered by I-240, I-26 and Broadway Ave., Montford is a National Register Historic District with more than 600 structures, mostly residences, built between 1890 and 1920. Asheville architect and supervising architect of the Biltmore House Richard Sharp Smith produced a number of homes in Montford. Though largely residential, Montford maintained several boarding houses and sanitaria for tuberculosis, mental disorders and other ailments. The neighborhood is home to Riverside Cemetery, 87 acres of rolling hills where authors Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry, as well as Confederate General Robert B. Vance and N.C. Gov. Zebulon Vance, are buried.

Montford at Play

Riverside CemeteryToday, many residences in Montford have found second lives as bed and breakfasts. Grand manors provide peaceful stays while at the same time allowing visitors to easily explore the walkable neighborhood.  

Montford is replete with activities for residents and visitors alike. A stop at the Asheville Visitor’s Center (36 Montford Ave.), at the neighborhood’s edge, can provide you with all the resources and direction necessary for getting the most out of Montford, and Asheville in general. The Montford Recreation Center, in the heart of the neighborhood, features the Montford Climbing Wall, a gym and two multi-purpose rooms. The center is surrounded by the Montford Complex, boasting a playground, tennis court, lighted ball field and the Hazel B. Robinson Amphitheater. The amphitheater is home to the Montford Park Players , N.C.’s longest running Shakespeare festival, which presents free Theatre in the Park under the stars all summer long.

Historic Montford AshevilleMontford is also home to popular annual festivals and tours:

·      Montford Arts and Music Festival  – Held in May, this festival is one of the largest one-day free music and arts festivals in Asheville, with more than 100 vendors of art, crafts and food, and two stages of entertainment.

·      Greek Festival  – Montford’s Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church hosts a fall fest full of traditional dancing, music and, of course, food – fest-goers enjoy a range of Greek specialties – think lamb shank, pastichio, spanakopita and baklava.

·      Montford Holiday Tour of Homes  – Heralding the holiday season, the Tour of Homes gives attendees a first-hand look at the rich architecture the neighborhood is famed for.

For a personally guided tour of the Montford area, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: Homes for Sale in Montford

 

Craggy Park Kick-Off Event Announced

Craggy Park Entrance

Craggy Park is a new community of 45 GreenBuilt homes located in the heart of walkable West Asheville, featuring organic gardens and stream-side walking trails. The community's unique design clusters homes together to preserve green space and to allow for many amenities that foster community through shared use. Craggy Park is connected to the vibrant Haywood Road corridor through a greenway trail and short stroll up Dunwell Avenue.

Kick-Off Event

On July 8th and 9th from 1pm- 5pm, Craggy Park will welcome the public to come explore the newly completed homes and the community features. The first three homes will be open to tour and partners in the project will be present to answer questions. Additionally, guests will be able to tour the many community features that make this neighborhood unique.

Craggy Park Homes: in the Heart of West Asheville

Designed by W2 Architects, Craggy Park homes embrace a smart and sustainable design philosophy, maximizing livable space without a huge footprint. JAG and Associates Construction brings it's talents in green building to the project, offering five models from which to choose. Currently, there are three homes nearing completion and almost ready to tour. These homes exemplify the harmonious blend of green building technology and clean, modern design.

Craggy Park Amenities

Craggy Park Walking Trails and BridgeUtilizing a clustered design philosophy for the homes, the team of developers were able to create a low impact development that preserves as much green space as possible. This has allowed for considerable green space preservation and a park-like setting for residents. The many amenities available include a little free library, mulched walking trails, a tree house, bridge and lawn by the stream, fire pit for gathering and an organic community garden.  

Directions to Craggy Park

If you are using GPS to get to Craggy Park, use the address 180 Louisiana Avenue, Asheville, NC 28806. Our roads are not yet recognized by Google. If you are coming from Haywood Road, head north on Louisiana Avenue and Craggy Park will be 0.5 miles down on the left. If you are coming from Patton Avenue, head south on Louisiana Avenue and the Craggy Park entrance will be 0.2 miles on your right. There is a sign for Craggy Park and the entrance road is labeled Mauricet Lane.

For further information about Craggy Park, call Mike Figura, owner of Mosaic Realty at (828) 337-8190 or email him at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com