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hauntedheadnc

No room at the Arcade!

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http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll...ID=200770104084

Is this a sign that the economic downturn that rubbed off a bit of Asheville's gloss is fading out? Is it a sign of gentrification? Either way, a jam-packed Grove Arcade can only be a good thing!

I'm hoping here that the Arcade really has turned a corner, the way they're saying it has on the news. If it has, this means that the Arcade will be something akin to a power generator revving up. It takes a while to get started, and takes energy to get started than its giving out, but once its running on its own, it generates more power than it ever took to get it going. When the Grove Arcade was still trying to fill itself up, it was competing with other vacant downtown spaces. Now that it's full, assuming my generator analogy is correct, now it will actually start generating commerce that could fill up those other empty spaces. :yahoo:

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Im so glad that its all leased out. Its such a beautiful building and such a great place to just go and hang out at.

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I still want to see the tower built on top of the arcade. I see this tower as the biggest thing, bar none, that would fulfill downtown Asheville's destiny for greatness. It would be very, very expensive and difficult to match the quality of materials and workmanship for the arcade, but real estate in downtown Asheville - particularly near Battery Park Hill - is fairly costly - so maybe, just maybe, they could pull it off as a hotel-condo sort of project. Parking would be an issue, but then again who says that you have to have parking in the same building as you live? Build a deck, screened by more residential and retail, on the BellSouth lot, and use valet parking for the hotel.

Ironically, building the tower might jeapordize the building's historic designation, even though the original plans included the tower. Frustration! A guy can dream, though, can't he?

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Everybody can dream, but honestly, how really, truly realistic is it to hope that someone will come along and build that tower? You always seem to know a little more than I do, and if this is your big dream, I kind of wonder who you might know and what they might be thinking...

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I haven't heard anything from anybody in any position of influence about possibly building the Grove Arcade tower since a city council member came and talked to my class about it in 1993. That was very shortly after the federal government agreed to give the arcade back to the city but years before they even vacated it. People were still brainstorming about what could be done with it at that point.

I had hopes that the guy who proposed this hotel would do the Grove tower, but the truth is, even at 14 stories (plus the 5 stories of the arcade) the tower wouldn't have been large enough to hold 250-280 hotel rooms. And, in spite of all the theatrics and flim flammery surrounding the "announcement" of this hotel, so far it's turned out to have no substance whatsoever.

Now, my only hope is that some ultra-upscale developer from out of town will somehow find out about the Grove Arcade and be intrigued. Might happen someday, but not likely any time soon.

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There's a good article in today's C-T about the emerging "Restaurant Row" in the Grove arcade along Page Ave. Sounds like its built up a good bit of momentum.

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I found this picture of the Arcade from when it was under federal ownership. It looks so much better today.

image3_650.jpg

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I think filling up the Arcade was an excercise in presenting something new to people. Its form and function is rather more like modern lifestyle centers being built in cities with much less cache than Asheville. An empty building has little ambiance, and the Arcade certainly has a cave-like quality to it. But like you said Haunted...now that it is in full swing, the inside-out nature of interacting with the building and its businesses and the oversized feel of the architecture is sitting well with once standoffish tenants and customers alike.

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