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Asheville Mall

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According to the Citizen-Times an Old Navy and several other tenants will be added to the Sears wing. Tenants will be shifted around and walls knocked out to make a large enough space, but I'm not sure if there will be any additions to the mall. The stores are supposed to open around Spring 2006.

This will be one of two Old Navys to open in Asheville in a very short timeframe. The other one will be built at the Target shopping center under construction near the airport. Wonder whether the market can support it...

The article also mentions traffic problems on S. Tunnel Rd, but then quickly brushes it off. I'm not so convinced. Any more construction down there and that road is going to reach a breaking point...

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Tunnel Road is among NC's WORST traffic. That whole area's traffic is horrendous. I think that the market will support the two Old Navy stores.

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Tunnel Road is among NC's WORST traffic.  That whole area's traffic is horrendous.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I discovered to my amusement last Christmas that it's actually no slower to walk from the Mall to Target (We're talking 3/4 mile here, but I walk fast) than it is to drive. That place is horrendous. What's worse, thanks to topography there's no way the road could be widened, and it wouldn't help anyway due to the frequent stoplights and disjointed driveways.

If Asheville ever re-lays streetcar tracks (the topic comes up every few years) I think that a line behind all the stores on the west side of Tunnel Road would be nice. No room for streetcars in the tunnel, though, so the tracks would have to share the Beaucatcher Cut with I-240, somehow. I think I did a pretty elaborate writeup of my idea for streetcars in Asheville as my second or third post after joining UP...

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I have not been up to Asheville in awhile, but I will agree concur some of its major roads are not that very good. Tunnel Road is one of them. There's no turn lane whatsoever and not enough room to put one in anyway. It would be great if they built another two-lane tunnel for outgoing downtown traffic to the mall, but that would be very costly. Traffic connection between Biltmore Village and Swannanoa could be improved with that whatever road along the river widened to four lanes.

Are there any new retail tenants going up in the Tunnel Road area?

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I have not been up to Asheville in awhile, but I will agree concur some of its major roads are not that very good.

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Honestly, if I could have my way I'd GET RID OF both the roads lining the riverbanks, and plant trees and construct a greenway instead. Imagine a riverwalk in Biltmore Village! Obviously there needs to be a road somewhere in that corridor, but things on the north bank are really too tight to have a major road. You'd just about have to put the whole river in a culvert to make room for a 5-lane thoroughfare, and I doubt that's an outcome that anyone desires.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think that's a good idea. You're right about the topography, there's no way to widen the road. If you took out the roads bordering the river - Swannanoa and Thompson - it would create more congestion for Fairview Road, but a river walk would be very nice. A trolley line b/n Hendersonville Road and Tunnel Rd would be awesome too

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Google Earth image of the Swannanoa River, looking east from Biltmore Village (north is left; south is right):

swannanoa1.jpg

The same view with 3x exaggerated elevation to emphasize the lack of space on the north (left) bank, where Swannanoa River Rd is.

swannanoa2.jpg

Look at how close the roads are to the river. Terrible. If some of the warehouses on the south (right) bank of the river were demolished, there would clearly be enough space for a larger road with a meaningful vegitation buffer. It would be an expensive project, but that didn't deter the state from building I-26, the six lane highway to (almost) nowhere that (almost) nobody uses.

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they definately should have built a center turn lane on Tunnel Road when they originally widened the road to 4 lanes (whenever that happened, yrs and yrs ago I'm sure)

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For the areas that have the worst traffic, there is one, but it doesn't help much since the stoplights are spaced so closely that the queues are long enough to overrun the previous stoplight. The previous stoplight turns red with people still in the intersection, and people trying to turn left onto Tunnel Rd can't, because there are cars in the way. Mayhem ensues with just three to four cars making it through with each cycle of the stoplight. On the worst days, it can take 10 to 15 minutes to go one mile in that mess.

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The Swannanoa River is very prestigious to the Asheville area and should remain clean and natural for many years to come. It is obvious Swannanoa Road cannot handle any more traffic, therefore a four lane road in any form is needed within the next few years to connect Tunnel Road with Hendersonvilel Road. Hopefully, the NCDOT could begin a study of this idea if they have enough sense.

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pics from south tunnel road:

pic2.jpg

leaving the asheville mall

pic1.jpg

and passing the asheville mall

these are about a month old.

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I cringe every time I think about driving over to Asheville and going to the mall. You're OK once you're there, but the journey to it is terrible. I remember around Christmas last year exiting off of I-240 onto Tunnel Road - it took 20 minutes to get from the highway to the mall.

It's unfortunate that the area is so congested with no growing room and essentially only one way in and one way out.

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You know what they could do to make it a lot better? Build stairways that go from one shopping center to the next at storefront level, without making you walk all the way to the sidewalks that may (but probably don't) exist on Tunnel Rd. That way, the walk from Asheville Mall to Barnes & Noble to Lowe's is quite manageable for a reasonably fit, able bodied person. People could leave their car in one of the parking lots and cover all the stores that way. These stairways wouldn't be very useful 11 months out of the year, but for one month between Black Friday and Christmas, the people who use the stairs would save a significant amount of time over the people who try (try being the operative word) to drive from one store to the next.

I don't think ADA ramps would be required on these slopes, because the distance with all the zig-zags would be the same as going out to the sidewalk and coming back in anyway.

I don't care if public funds are used to construct these improvements on private property, because the mall/shopping center owners don't care what people have to go through to get there, as long as they're there. Heck, the city should sieze the tiny chunks of land for the stairways through condemnation and build the stairs.

Oh, and the lack of sidewalks on the east side of S. Tunnel and on most of Tunnel Rd is absolutely inexcusable. Actually, with the exception of downtown, Asheville's sidewalks get a big fat red F for being incomplete, inadequate, poorly maintained, and disjointed. The buses get another F for being infrequent (hourly) and shutting down at 6:00pm(!?!?), but that's another topic entirely.

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You know what they could do to make it a lot better? Build stairways that go from one shopping center to the next at storefront level, without making you walk all the way to the sidewalks that may (but probably don't) exist on Tunnel Rd. That way, the walk from Asheville Mall to Barnes & Noble to Lowe's is quite manageable for a reasonably fit, able bodied person. People could leave their car in one of the parking lots and cover all the stores that way. These stairways wouldn't be very useful 11 months out of the year, but for one month between Black Friday and Christmas, the people who use the stairs would save a significant amount of time over the people who try (try being the operative word) to drive from one store to the next.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's a good idea. It's too bad there's not (i don't know if it's possible) to build an enterance to the mall from Swannanoa River Road .. basically back enterances to Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Lowes.. in addition to footpaths.

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Look for Williams-Sonoma to open late fall 2007...

Excellent! How'd you come by this information?

By the way, I'm still hearing reports that Whole Foods is coming to Asheville but don't have any information on where yet.

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Excellent! How'd you come by this information?

By the way, I'm still hearing reports that Whole Foods is coming to Asheville but don't have any information on where yet.

Hmmm I've not heard anything on that. Is Asheville ready for Whole Foods with 2 Co-Ops, Greenlife Grocery, 2 Earth Fare stores, Ingle's with expanded organic selections etc... re: this thread http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...;hl=Whole+Foods

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Look for Williams-Sonoma to open late fall 2007...

At the mall? For some reason I thought they were more a stand-alone place. Regardless, as Asheville attracts high-end retailers, it's better that they locate either at the malls, or in the new urbanist developments' downtowns in my opinion. I don't think it's fair to the freaks and hippies downtown to run them out and replace their businesses with the likes of Emmeline's Cutesy-Wootsy Knick-Knacks (The Preferred Source for Living Room Clutter for 9 out of 10 Fletcher Soccer Moms!) when they're the ones who brought it back to life in the first place.

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Some interesting news in and around the Asheville Mall area on today's TRC agenda:

LEVEL II

1. Level II review for the project identified as Kenilworth Condominiums, located at 27 White Pine Drive for a 48-unit

condominium development. The owner is Joyce May and the contact is Josh Beck. The property is identified in the

Buncombe County tax records as PIN 9658.09-06-2423. Planner coordinating review

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If it's a new store, Borders would seem to be the obvious choice since they don't currently have an Asheville presence. The B. Dalton would most likely shut down if that were the case. I guess it's also possible that the B&N is moving up the street, but that seems like a lot of work with a sizable store there already. Who knows though.

The mall seems to be doing quite well in regards to new store announcements lately.

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Walking through the mall tonight I noticed a few construction walls up. Here's a quick rundown of what seems to be going on:

-American Eagle's concept aerie is opening a store beside Yankee Candle near the food court

-Champs sports apparel is moving around the corner between Build a Bear and Kirkland's (that's a nice grouping)

-Mall management seemingly has established an "urban" section between Old Navy and the escalator for B. Dalton.

-The last time I was there the construction wall next to Victoria's Secret had CJ Banks coming soon on it. The sign is gone, but the wall is still up.

-The upfit for McAlister's Deli is apparently taking place. There is no sign as of yet of the planned outdoor seating.

Things seem to be going well for the mall. CBL and the local folks have done a good job keeping a good tenant mix in the face of growing competition in the market.

Edited by rooster8

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