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mediamongrel

KMART Plaza (Tunnel Rd.) 1975-?

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This is a continuation or new topic, since most of the discussion from the KMart/Walmart topic focused on the Tunnel Road plaza.

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I'm still not sure what they should put there. A new movie theater would be nice, but really anything is better than a crappy, old movie theater and a Kmart!

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There has been a significant development with this Kmart location...can't mention the specifics, as I have not yet been given permission to release the information, however, more information will be released on 11/13.

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We await the news with baited breath.

Just drove by there earlier, and there was a "liquidity company" on site. You can pretty much fill in the rest.

Edited by mediamongrel

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Just drove by there earlier, and there was a "liquidity company" on site. You can pretty much fill in the rest.

Hmm, actually, can you fill in the rest?

I assume this means the K-Mart is closing, but when, and what about the rest of the shopping center and the theater? Nothing in the news yet.

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Now we can begin to imagine what will go there to replace it. First on many wish lists is probably Costco.

I'd echo what's been said here that a true redevelopment of the property could only happen if the adjacent theater parcel was included.

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While it would be a first on my wish list, I think it's a bit unrealistic to think Costco will go there. I think the property isn't deep enough to allow a typical Costco footprint and the necessary parking lot, gas station, etc. If they throw out the other businesses in the strip, Dollar Tree, Radio Shack, and Tuesday Morning and level the entire thing, I still don't see them having enough room. If the Costco were to go at the back of the property then the parking will be uphill towards Tunnel Road. I don't know about you (the royal you, not you specifically) but I don't relish pushing one of those big Costco shopping carts, loaded down, uphill to my car. Word on the street right now is another hotel. I hope not.

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While it would be a first on my wish list, I think it's a bit unrealistic to think Costco will go there. I think the property isn't deep enough to allow a typical Costco footprint and the necessary parking lot, gas station, etc. If they throw out the other businesses in the strip, Dollar Tree, Radio Shack, and Tuesday Morning and level the entire thing, I still don't see them having enough room. If the Costco were to go at the back of the property then the parking will be uphill towards Tunnel Road. I don't know about you (the royal you, not you specifically) but I don't relish pushing one of those big Costco shopping carts, loaded down, uphill to my car. Word on the street right now is another hotel. I hope not.

They are most likely going to level the entire plaza. if you take a look at the owner's website (which still ironically includes Kmart), it shows a blueprint type layout of the property, which does include Tuesday Morning and Radio Shack. http://www.edens.com/centers/NC/Asheville/Kmart-Plaza Everything in this plaza will probably be leveled in the Spring/Summer of 2013, and then we can wonder what will go here. Costco would have more than enough room in my opinion, but whatever the new tenant is, I'm sure they are already known internally. As I have said before in this topic, this area is hardly an upscale area, and not really close to the main "Biltmore" tourist area, which is at least 2 miles down Swannanoa River Rd.

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There is plenty of room for a Costco plus gas station. The K-mart Plaza is 13.1 acres. Costco in Raleigh sits on 14 acres. The Home Depot on Fairview that was originally built as a Costco is on 12.2 acres. It seems just about right from an acreage perspective.

If a Costco is what's planned, and they have to level the lot to make it happen, then they will do it. Retaining walls and bulldozers are not that expensive.

However, the "center of gravity" of the area, and particularly the bulk of the area's growth, has shifted south since 1995ish when Costco decided to abandon its plans to open a store in Asheville. I would have to think that Costco is the type of retailer that would at least consider a location in South Buncombe on Airport, Long Shoals, or Hendersonville Road as well - but then again, this location probably would make sense too since there are quite a lot of people living in east Asheville and eastern Buncombe County.

If they can include the theater in the redevelopment, then maybe they could do something more interesting than just a Costco. What, though? I don't really know.

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Regardless of what happens there, in order to fix the traffic problems on South Tunnel Road, two infrastructure projects are needed:

(1) An entrance to the mall from Swannanoa River Road. I mean, duh. This has been a no brainer since the 1980s.

(2) An interchange on I-240 in the Swannanoa River Road area. I'm sure it could be made to fit. Something like this. The "Riverway" plan is eventually going to turn Swannanoa River Road into an even more major road, and it's an NC highway anyway, so it just makes sense (to me.)

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Are you expecting them to do a lot of infill to bring the lot up to the grade on Tunnel Road or near so? If that's the case, how do you think the south boundary should be handled with the entrance to Overlook Village and the bank?

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First, you have to figure out what their site plan would be; my guess is something like this.

The lot slopes down away from tunnel road but the back of the lot is pretty flat. they would probably push some of the dirt from the part closest to Tunnel Road towards the back to yield a flatter lot. With the site plan I suggested above, reconfiguring the circulation would make access to Overlook Village and the bank a non issue.

This is not to say that a Costco would necessarily be my first choice for this location. But I do think it would make sense. Rumor is, according to commenters on Ashvegas, some sort of shopping center with a Whole Foods.

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Thanks. That's interesting and I could see how it would work. However much I'd like to see Costco come into Asheville closer than the airport area, like you I don't think this is the spot for it. It'd be nice though as I work about 3 blocks from there. :)

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I am hoping for the Whole Foods!!! Maybe they could put a Nordstrom Rack there as well? That would be good. I think Whole Foods opening on Tunnel Road would pretty much start the revitalization of Tunnel Road. Finally get rid of those crappy motels and such on the upper end. Also, the Asheville Mall is pretty much a joke. I haven't been in months and it's just bad when Express, The Limited, Ann Taylor, etc. have been closed for years now. If Abercrombie & Fitch and Banana Republic close then this mall is pretty much in the dumps and there isn't anything they can really do to make it better. Besides J. Crew (which is kind of a pain to park sometimes) there really isn't anywhere I shop in Asheville anymore. Maybe Sears will close as well at the Asheville Mall since I didn't see more than 2 people in there last year when I went (and no, I didn't want to go, I was "dragged" in there by a family member). If Whole Foods opens and Asheville Mall improves, maybe Macy's will actually consider opening there. I actually dreamt that the Kmart shopping center on Hendersonville Road was torn down and they put a mall there. I know I saw a Belk, Nordstrom, Dillard's, Macy's, The Cheesecake Factory, Sephora, Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor, and that was about all I remember. Asheville probably could get most of those except Nordstrom and CCF (of the ones they don't have) I had a more recent dream of eating at a Cheesecake Factory on Hendersonville Road (unattached from a mall) next to a Whole Foods, Crate & Barrel, and Maggiano's. No, this isn't all I think about. Most of my dreams aren't about malls, shopping, etc.

I wonder what other WNC Kmarts could close? Well, that is if the whole chain doesn't close, and that wouldn't surprise me. I don't know if Sears would close all of their stores but if not probably most of them. I think the Biltmore Square one does better than the others, I think. Patton probably does better as well since there is no Target or Walmart closeby.

Edited by ct36

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The Kmart in Greenville, SC is closing as well. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the Skyland Kmart is closing within the next year or so. That location always seemed slower than even the Tunnel Rd. store. Also, I have to agree that the Asheville Mall is awful. Just in comparison to other malls in bigger cities nearby, the Asheville mall has really nothing to offer, other than horrible traffic trying to get to it. Trying to get from the Lowe's Home Improvement to the I-240 on ramp can sometimes take 10-15 minutes to go less than 1/4 mile.

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It's Whole Foods!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :yahoo:

If I could afford to shop there on a regular basis this would be exciting news, but if their prices mirror Earthfare, than forget it.

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Whole Foods actually has some pretty good deals sometimes. I wouldn't really say that it is any higher than anywhere else, especially on sale. I've found deals on Whole Food's 365 Everyday brand that were even cheaper than Laura Lynn, Great Value, etc. and much, much better (obviously). Also, I am in to organic stuff and the more pricy fancy French sodas, etc. and Whole Foods prices are lower than the regular grocery store, which is very high, and never goes on sale. Unfortunately it won't be opening until Fall 2014, so I guess I'll just have to deal with Greenlife (horrible parking, tons of "hippies", etc. I don't mind, but just forget it if anyone else is with me), and going to Whole Foods when I go to Charlotte, etc. There is supposed to be another tenant as well. I am hoping it's Nordstrom Rack, but we'll see. There are actually many cities without Nordstrom getting a RACK, and they are planning to almost double their store count. At this point I would say that's probably right as well because 9 out of 10 times when I've predicted what stores would open where it was actually true, but this could be one of those times when it's wrong.

Asheville in general has good shopping for it's size, but the good stores aren't found at the mall. Asheville has almost everything Greenville has except for Sephora, L'OCCITANE, Macy's, Apple Store, and Pottery Barn. Asheville has Brooks Brothers and Urban Outfitters which Greenville doesn't have, but they are getting a Brooks Brothers and before too long they will have UO.

Edited by ct36

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Whole Foods actually has some pretty good deals sometimes. I wouldn't really say that it is any higher than anywhere else, especially on sale. I've found deals on Whole Food's 365 Everyday brand that were even cheaper than Laura Lynn, Great Value, etc. and much, much better (obviously). Also, I am in to organic stuff and the more pricy fancy French sodas, etc. and Whole Foods prices are lower than the regular grocery store, which is very high, and never goes on sale. Unfortunately it won't be opening until Fall 2014, so I guess I'll just have to deal with Greenlife (horrible parking, tons of "hippies", etc. I don't mind, but just forget it if anyone else is with me), and going to Whole Foods when I go to Charlotte, etc. There is supposed to be another tenant as well. I am hoping it's Nordstrom Rack, but we'll see. There are actually many cities without Nordstrom getting a RACK, and they are planning to almost double their store count. At this point I would say that's probably right as well because 9 out of 10 times when I've predicted what stores would open where it was actually true, but this could be one of those times when it's wrong.

Asheville in general has good shopping for it's size, but the good stores aren't found at the mall. Asheville has almost everything Greenville has except for Sephora, L'OCCITANE, Macy's, Apple Store, and Pottery Barn. Asheville has Brooks Brothers and Urban Outfitters which Greenville doesn't have, but they are getting a Brooks Brothers and before too long they will have UO.

2014, wow, I don't get up that way too much, but I can imagine the traffic will be a nightmare while the demolition/construction occurs.

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