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Arts Center at the Grove Arcade


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6,500 square feet of space on the Page Avenue side of the Grove Arcade will be converted to an art center that would include a sales gallery and space for artists and craftspeople to work under a proposal scheduled to be rolled out next month. The center would increase foot traffic through the arcade, which some merchants have been disappointed with, said Nancy Thompson, a member of the foundation board and a local official with Progress Energy who is working on the project. An official announcement is planned for September, and the center would probably open in mid-2005, Thompson said. Artisans would probably also demonstrate their skills in the arcade's stall market or other space inside the building. The Grove Arcade has space for about 70 businesses, 55 apartments and about 30,000 square feet of office space. City Council voted to give $25,000 for the project in June and Buncombe County will give another $25,000, Thompson said. Other funding sources are still being lined up, she said.

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Parking is bad all the time in Asheville.

I've been there before when it was full and when it was almost empty. Usually it's almost empty in the evenings and full during the workday. It does well during the work hours in the warm weather months on weekdays. It does need something to bring it to life. More attractions? The average citizen goes downtown to be outside and enjoy the city and be outdoors. That could be a reason. The worst time is during the winter, after dark. Some of the problems could be due to location. Some businesses are now cutting back on their hours, and that doesn't help the problem. The Grove is a great place to shop and they are advertising it. I've seen ads in Take Five (print edition) and MountainXpress (print edition) for the Arcade. Asheville's greatest treasure is it's neo-gothic architecture and this is the biggest neo-gothic structure in the state.

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It was fairly busy this past weekend. Nothing major, but it was far from dead. There are some cool stores there, but the prices are a bit high... which explains why not many people do not go there for shopping. The restaurants, however, were very busy and the weather helped the eateries that provide outside seating. The architecture of Grove Arcade is fantastic.

The nearby 21 Battery Park condo building is moving forward; this should help the businesses in the Grove Arcade. If someone can afford these condos, I am sure they can afford the prices at the pricey Grove Arcade shops...


Photo is taken from the 21 Battery Park web site.

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