Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

orulz

Carolina Grand

Recommended Posts

This is a project going on in downtown Hendersonville, a small town in the mountains about 30 miles south of Asheville. The project is 9 stories (2 below ground and 7 above).

Here is a rendering:

sunflower.jpg

And a diagram of the building's scale with sightlines:

sunflowerscale.jpg

And a link to the articles:

Proposed condos 'too tall'

Planning board to weigh high rise

And an aerial of the location: Google Maps

Pretty neat project, though the design is unexciting. I guess the retail space will be along 1st Avenue?

There are already a couple of 8-ish story midrises at 6th and Main (which is also the intersection of mainline US64 and mainline US25) so this building is out of scale with the rest of the town. However, there is a height restriction of 64 feet in the blocks immediately surrounding the historic courthouse, and this building is almost twice that (115 feet) - but it's downhill from the courthouse and separated by a wall of historic low-rise structures on Main Street, so I don't see how this overwhelms or "makes a mockery of" the courthouse.

It is worrisome that the developer asked the city to "eliminate the requirement of a sidewalk along King Street, and to eliminate the requirement that trees be planted along First Avenue East." First Avenue is pretty narrow so trees just might not fit. Leaving out the sidewalk along King Street is absurd and lazy on the developer's part, but the rendering (above) clearly shows a sidewalk on King Street. Maybe the reporter got it wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


While this seems more like an Asheville-type project, it goes to show that Hendersonville is an attractive area. If the building were about half as tall, it would probably be welcomed with open arms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to hear projects such as this are going up in places that arent well known. I remember on season 3 of Top Model there was a blonde girl, Amanda, who lived in Hendersonville. I had never heard of the town before then. I guess this just goes to show that development all over NC is booming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hendersonville isn't a big town but it's been thriving for a good long time. It has a population of roughly 11,000 and is the second-largest city in the Asheville MSA. Hendersonville has a pretty large CBD for a city of its size, and it probably never faded completely into oblivion because the city took advantage of the the tourism in the mountains and started a focused downtown streetscape and revitalization program in the late 70s. Today, Main Street is a lively area with plenty of shops, restaurants, boutiques, and offices... but not a lot of residents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to see Hendersonville moving upward in the world vertically. As this will be the tallest building in its city yet, I am wondering if we may see taller things coming in years to come. I will say the views of the surrounding mountains would be a plus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like Sunflower residences was denied by council. The developer had scaled down the project slightly so it was in line with one interpretation of the height restriction around the courthouse. The law mentions both "a total height of 64 feet" and a "a peak of no more than 2208 feet above sea level" but evidently the ordinance is vague as to whether both conditions must be met, or whether meeting one is sufficient for compliance. The project meets the requirement for not exceeding 2208 feet above sea level, but has an average height of 79 feet and a maximum height of 89 feet.

The other two variances (smaller street trees, and using an alleyway for loading/unloading) passed.

I wonder how the project will proceed from here. It seems the developers are still interested; Perhaps they will appeal the decision, or perhaps they will request that the city clarify the ordinance, hopefully into an either/or requirement. Or, perhaps, they will just scale down the project.

But then again, I personally don't even see why they have a height restriction at all... I don't view larger buildings as an insult to the courthouse in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The height restrictions are in place because Hendersonville fervently believes that such idiotic measures can preserve the "small town feel" that was annihilated decades ago by the rapacious suburban sprawl surrounding the city.

Or to simplify, Hendersonville is run by and largely populated by idiots wearing blinders. This town is such a lost cause it's not even funny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The height restrictions are in place because Hendersonville fervently believes that such idiotic measures can preserve the "small town feel" that was annihilated decades ago by the rapacious suburban sprawl surrounding the city.

Or to simplify, Hendersonville is run by and largely populated by idiots wearing blinders. This town is such a lost cause it's not even funny.

What would you do to change things in Hendersonville for the better if you were on the town council?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would stand up to sprawl developers for one, even though as a lone voice, their projects would still get through almost every time. For another, I would work toward, but likely fail in, getting ordinances passed that would direct growth toward downtown in hopes of filling in the moat of parking lots that surrounds the five or so surviving blocks of Main Street that Hendersonville is always hyping to the tourists.

Unfortunately, no matter what the city does, the county it sits in is more backward than the city has ever had time to be, and the bulk of the sprawl occurs in the county, thereby leaching the vitality out of the city. The city eventaully annexes the sprawl, and then imposes its standards, such as landscaping on it, but sprawl is sprawl no matter how you try to dress it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good for the developers of Sunflower. It'll be a big shame if this isn't built.

Although I do hope there's still time for the city to work out a deal with the developers in exchange for tweeking the design some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meanwhile, the company planning the Sunflower Residences, has drawn up plans for another project, a hotel/condominium project to be called the Wisteria Hotel.

http://www.thewisteriahotel.com/

Kind of promising that the site states it is to be in the "heart of Hendersonville." I daresay though, that Hendersonville developers would have no qualms whatsoever about labelling a development on the state line as being in the heart of Hendersonville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like Donald Trump has entered the fray on this one a while ago (Missed the news myself; thanks for the heads up Skyliner.)

Read an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

My favorite quotes frome the article:

E.J. Ridings, president of New York-based Trump Mortgage LLC, is perplexed by the opposition. "I know it's Hendersonville, North Carolina, and it's up in the beautiful mountains, and all," says Mr. Ridings. "But I keep saying to Ed, 'There are houses that are taller than five stories on Long Island.' Please."

and..

Says James Hall, a developer who has done mixed-use projects on Main Street and opposes changing the ordinance: "It almost sounds like they are bringing in a big name to put down the insurrection."

The debate over this project is taking on an air of comedy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This article is in today's Citizen Times.

Seems today is the day for the vote. Some folks apparently think that by increasing the height limit from 64 feet to 80 feet along King and Church streets (a one way pair one block on either side of Main, with very little in the way of character) Hendersonville will turn into Harlem in the wink of an eye.

Opponents have formed a coalition called (I kid you not) "Save Our City". The folks at Save Our City are working to get a provision installed in the town charter so that an issue (such as removal of a councilmemeber or the mayor can be brought to a special election by the citizens if 10% of the registered voters sign a petition.

These folks are so absolutely certain that everyone in Hendersonville is so vehemently opposed to SIX STORY BUILDINGS that they want to vote the mayor and half of council out of office MID-TERM for supporting the change.

I say these "Save Our City" folks are living in an echo chamber. I say if you were to put an issue on the ballot about 80 ft buildings downtown, with the three options "Opposed" "Support" "Don't care", 20% would be opposed, 20% would support, and 60% wouldn't care at all - which means the mayor, council, and staff should do what they find is in the city's best interest.

If S.O.C. somehows manage to get their special-election provision passed (which they actually might - people will say "Oh goodie, more power for us") I predict it will become a huge destabilizing force in town politics. Turnout at Hendersonville elections is never that great, so a few noisy people with an agenda could wind up swapping out every single member of council EVERY YEAR with relatively little difficulty. Wow, a town where every councilmember has to constantly pander to the constituency for votes to merely stay in office - that sounds like an environment where things get done!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is far and away the most ludicrous spectacle I've ever seen, but makes it truly intolerable is the fact that these ninnies wouldn't care in the slightest if Jim Anthony wanted to build The Cliffs at Some BS Place Name I Pulled Out of My Ass over in Etowah, or if Windsor-Aughtry finally admitted that its mission in life is to hunt down and pave over every history cemetery in Henderson County. These beotchs want sprawl. It makes them happy, and they can sleep at night knowing that another two or three acres of forest disappeared forever from Henderson County today.

But, dare to propose some urbanity in that brainless wad of cuteness they call downtown, and the squeals of protest could shatter crystal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article says the decision is fairly lopsided.

The irony of it is, the quote provided from "Save our City founding member Thomas Beckett does not make sense.

Adding a high-rise development would make it essentially like a little version of northern Virginia, and what people come to Hendersonville for would be lost

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We know what it is like to have a city RUIN by Hernando! We moved from Miami to this wonderful old town of Hendersonville, and we are going to keep it Safe and small. If you can not except the way the town is you do not have to visit, eventhough it is a friendly town. November 7, 2006 WE WON!!! :yahoo:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

saveourcity, I'm curious why you think an 8-story development (or, for that matter, numerous such developments) in downtown Hendersonville would be the end of it all? How many people do you know who come to a town, see a mid-rise building, and say "Ugh, this city's too big for me."

I'll admit I don't follow things in the region as closely as I used to anymore (don't live there, after all.) But I'm worried that most folks who voted for this referrendum did so as a means to voice their overall frustration with the way once-rural Henderson County is developing so rapidly. I can't blame them for being alarmed with the pace of development, but if they think blocking 8-story midrises downtown will slow things down or do anything whatsoever to preserve H-ville's small town charm, I believe they will find themselves sadly mistaken.

Why are folks so terribly opposed to a single 8-story development downtown that takes up half a block and houses maybe 120 people, but the massive 200+ acre Wal-Mart, Staples, and now Sam's Club (built on top of farmland and forest!) is completely not a concern at all? Is it not the endless oozing of two-hundred home gated golf communities that bulldoze hills and trees, and 'power center retail' over the once-pristine landscape that are 'ruining' hendersonville? Before you know it, you'll have to drive for 20 minutes from the courthouse before you can reach a forest or a farm. THAT is what's killing Hendersonville's small-town charm.

Let downtown Hendersonville be what it was meant to be: a functioning urban center for the town rather than a cryogenically preserved tourist attraction.

Come back in 10 years and tell me if you think this restriction did anything to 'preserve' Hendersonville's "small town charm." You'll see what I mean then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.