ASHEVILLE – Plans for new construction at Deaverview Apartments took their first step through the city’s approval process March 21, while two other projects took their last.
Plans to build 82 new units in three buildings at Deaverview Apartments in West Asheville cleared the initial Technical Review Committee assessment, the first phase in the ultimate demolition and reconstruction of the 50-year-old, 160-unit apartment complex, owned by the Asheville Housing Authority.
The 115-room Moxy Hotel on Biltmore Avenue downtown and the 186-unit 120 Charlotte Street apartment building, both approved by the city in 2021, cleared their final technical review and can now move toward permitting and breaking ground.
With more than 50 units, the Deaverview project needs a conditional rezoning, requiring review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and an ultimate decision from Asheville City Council.
The technical review March 21 is the first step in that process, said Planner Will Palmquist. No major issues arose during the review, he said, and the project was approved with conditions, including that the developers come back with a finalized landscape plan detailing how it will meet the city’s Tree Canopy Preservation Ordinance.
David Nash, executive director of the housing authority, said it was a positive meeting, and while there were a few questions, the project is set to move forward.
“We certainly plan to provide generous tree quantity, and consistent with the tree canopy ordinance,” he said.
Information on file says the project is set for an April 6 Planning and Zoning meeting. Developers are up against a deadline for state funding applications due in May, and Nash said in February that the new buildings will house residents eventually displaced for the demolition of the existing units, built in 1971.
Construction should start in 2023 on a phased plan over eight-10 years to reconstruct all of Deaverview, according to notes with the zoning application, and aren’t a part of other city plans for nearby parcels, for which the Asheville City Council dedicated $1.6 million to purchase in April 2021.
Plans filed with the city in January show three new buildings on corners of the property already owned by the housing authority along Deaverview Road, at the corner with North Bear Creek Road and near Westmore Drive.
All the units will be affordable to residents at 80% or below the area median income, Nash said March 22, with the average income level closer to 50%, and deeply subsidized units will be included as well.
According to the city, 80% AMI is $42,100 for a one-person household and $48,100 for a two-person household, with rents tied to that rate, with utilities included, capped at $1,128 for a one-bedroom and $1,353 for a two-bedroom.
The city lists $31,575 as 60% AMI for a one-bedroom household and $36,075 for a two-bedroom household, with maximum utilities-included rents set at $846 for a one-bedroom and $1,014 for a two-bedroom.
For subscribers: Asheville Housing Authority moved to evict 80 people in 1 day
Moxy Hotel, 120 Charlotte St. get final OK
Two projects that have already made their way through city approvals also cleared their final technical approvals March 21, shoring up the remaining issues city staff had with plans, including tree canopy plans at a Charlotte Street apartment project, and plans for a transit shelter at the Moxy Hotel.
Palmquist said any lingering questions staff has will be answered in plans resubmitted to the city and reviewed by staff without another appearance before TRC.
As long as those last submittals address the last lingering comments, developers are clear to seek permits, he said.
The Moxy hotel was approved by the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission in October 2021, with plans for 115 rooms at 61 Biltmore Ave., connected to the existing Aloft Hotel.
Plans were initially filed in July 2021, showing an eight-story, steel-built extension onto the hotel, which developer McKibbon Hotel Group said at the time would include a ground-floor bar/cafe and rooftop bar and restaurant, plans that were in place when McKibbon built Aloft in 2012, securing the needed conditional zoning in 2008.
Among the first to be approved with Asheville’s post-moratorium hotel approval process, the project is located in the city’s hotel overlay district and earned its needed 220 points on the city’s public benefits table through a donation of $460,0000, or $4,000 per room, to the city’s Housing Trust Fund or Reparations fund, paying a living wage and more.
Developers said in July that entry-level employees would start at $16 an hour with benefits. Another $300 per room will go each to neighborhood improvement and public art for a total $69,000.
The project first went to the Technical Review Committee in August, with the recommendation to approve and resubmit plans.
J.B. McKibbon, vice president of asset management for McKibbon Hospitality, said it is common for projects to go multiple times for TRC, and the meeting March 21 was to confirm that developers had addressed those recommendations from August.
The project received its full approval and can now move forward with submitting plans for permitting, he said.
A letter dated Feb. 9 answers city staff’s requests for additional information for the hotel, including that developers will pay a fee in lieu of tree canopy preservation due to a lack of area for planting on the site, fix leaks around the swimming pool and build a new custom-design transit shelter at the site.
Palmquist said the issue was figuring out how to keep the shelter open during hotel construction, and that a construction staging plan will be required, to show how that will be accomplished.
The committee was OK with a custom-designed transit stop, he said, though if it were ever destroyed for any reason the city would construct a standard transit shelter in its place.
Developers hope to break ground on the hotel this summer with an 18-month construction effort, McKibbon said, though supply chain issues could delay the construction start time. If the project can stay on schedule, the hotel will open in early 2024.
Asheville City Council approved a needed rezoning for 120 Charlotte Street in October 2021, where Kassinger Development Group is working to build a 186-unit apartment building with ground-floor commercial space at the site of the former Fuddruckers Restaurant.
Thirty-seven units, or 20% of the total were set to be deeded affordable, half at 80% of the area median income and half at 60%, for which the city also approved a $1.5 million Land Use Incentive Grant tax break.
Palmquist said discussion at the meeting March 21 included the radii of driveway aprons, landscaping and tree canopy preservation, with developers working to meet buffer requirements for adjacent residential areas and whether that landscaping could count toward tree canopy requirements.
He said the committee came to the consensus that if the trees weren’t in the right of way, the trees could count for the buffer and the canopy requirement so developers could meet both requirements.
Developers can now move forward on seeking permits for that project as well, with plans for a 167,000-square-foot, three-to-five story building at the corner of Charlotte and Chestnut Streets.
Derek Lacey covers environment, growth and development for the Asheville Citizen Times. Reach him at [email protected] or 828-417-4842 and find him on Twitter @DerekAVL.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Demolition of Asheville Deaverview apartments clear first city review