Final Project Update



101 Charlotte Street will be plotting a new course. The 101 Charlotte Development team has made the difficult decision to withdraw its conditional zoning request due to many factors but principally because of a lack of the necessary support from key City Officials. We still believe in the overall vision of the project, but without Conditional Zoning, we will have to pursue other avenues to develop the site.


Consistent with this new path, we will be shutting down 101CharlotteStreet.com. We want to thank CoUrbanize for facilitating a first-of-its-kind in Asheville online public engagement process. The website and the platform were crucial to engaging the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing accurate information about what the project was and was not. We also want to thank everyone who took the time to use this platform as it was intended – to provide constructive feedback on how we can best improve the built environment.  While we will no longer have this interactive platform, we will keep a dedicated e-mail address at  101Charlottestreet@gmail.com where you can send us future comments, questions or suggestions if you like.


Stay safe and well,

101 Charlotte Street Development Team

Project Updates – Summer 2021

We wanted to provide a long overdue update on the latest developments of the 101 Charlotte Street project. A few days prior to our July 27th City Council meeting we requested a delay until the August 24th meeting. In the intervening weeks we have been processing a substantial amount of feedback from City Staff, City Council and Stakeholders and have asked for an additional delay of our project hearing from August 24th to September 28th.

So what is going on and why is the project hearing delayed?

The delay is related to several late developments in advance of the July 27th hearing and subsequent events, detailed below. We feel it is best for the development team to take the proper time to process the feedback so we can make sound decisions about how to proceed.  We are still committed to the long-term vision for the site that we outlined at the start of our journey: “At the heart of the plan is a commitment to walkability, open space, and new housing and business opportunities for Asheville's diverse and growing population.


  • We applied for a LUIG Grant to provide 30 new affordable homes of the 150 new rental units proposed. That application went before the city’s Housing and Community Development Committee on July 20, 2021. It was approved but additional conditions were imposed to add 20 of the 56 units at the Asheville Arms bringing the project total to 52 total units. We are committed to providing deed-restricted affordability with our project and are working now to calibrate the amount of affordability that is feasible for us.
  • We learned that despite our best efforts to address concerns following our Planning and Zoning Commission approval, city planning staff was still recommending denial of our application going into the July 27th hearing. We did receive late feedback about what changes were necessary to garner their support and we are currently working on those changes.
  • City Council expressed concern about a variety of aspects of the project, many of which were contradictory in nature such as providing lower density while increasing affordability. To address concerns of this scope, it has been necessary to evaluate several project variables to come up with a workable solution. This takes time.
  • We are under agreement to acquire an abutting parcel to the project with an expected closing in early September. We are evaluating the impacts of the additional land area on the project and how the design might respond accordingly.


As we forge ahead, we will continue to listen and revise the project based on feedback we receive. While we cannot satisfy everyone, we hope to make the project the best it can be for the neighborhood, the city, and for us. 

101 Charlotte Street on Asheville City Council Meeting Agenda – July 27

The 101 Charlotte Street Project will make its final stop in its conditional zoning process at the Asheville City Council meeting on July 27, 2021. The meeting will take place at 5pm, in person, at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center, 87 Haywood Street. Please refer here for further details.  

We encourage all those interested to both attend the meeting and provide public comment if desired. Can’t make it on July 27? You can still engage in the following ways:


 

As this process draws to a close, we want to thank you again for all your input. Our website host, CoUrbanize, will help us create a report based on the feedback and data we’ve gathered that we’ll submit to Asheville City Council.   

New Renderings + A Contextual Approach

We have new renderings of our for-sale housing projects within the 101 Charlotte Street plan. This additional information was requested/referenced by the City of Asheville Planning Department in their staff report to the Planning and Zoning Commission. We were happy to provide these renderings and the below information to further clarify why the 101 Charlotte Street project is contextual to its surroundings and will be a good neighbor if approved and then built. Its important to note that all of these projects represent fewer units than would be allowed by-right under the RM-8 and RM-16 existing zoning.

Baird Street Rowhomes:

The Baird Street rowhomes replace four small single-family structures with 20 family-sized rowhomes. Given Asheville’s need for housing and Baird Street’s largely single-family existing character, the Baird Rowhomes offer a contextual transition from the project’s commercial buildings on Charlotte Street to the residential buildings on Baird Street. Here are some additional details:

  • Rowhomes will vary in size from 1,250 to 2,300 square feet and most will have internal garages.
  • The rowhomes will have small private outdoor spaces which will be supplemented by the project’s 1.3 acres of publicly accessible open space, immediately adjacent.
  • Rowhomes are energy-efficient structures in a single-family package. Shared walls between homes mean reducing exterior wall construction by 60% or more versus a typical single family detached home.
  • The architecture seeks to be a good neighbor by offering gabled rooflines and front porches found in many neighboring residences. 


Furman Ave. Condominiums:

The Furman Ave Condominiums replace one duplex at 132 Furman with 10 condominium flats. While condos are not prevalent in North Asheville, we’ve heard that both first time home buyers and those looking to age in place would appreciate a smaller footprint home, on a single level, without the maintenance requirements of a single-family home. Here are some additional details:

  • Condos would average between 900 and 1,100 sf with one bedroom and two-bedroom layouts.
  • The building would feature an elevator as well as covered, garage parking for added convenience.
  • The smaller unit size would provide a lower entry price point to a neighborhood with many homes over $1,000,000.
  • The architecture seeks to be a good neighbor by drawing inspiration from the nearby Ansonia Apartments and Princess Anne hotel. In addition, the building features a third-story setback to respect adjacent 2.5 story residential homes. 

134 Furman Ave. Affordable Condominiums:

We have committed to affordability for homeownership and will work with the city of Asheville to make it happen. 134 Furman Ave. is preservation with a purpose, taking two apartments and turning them into two (and possibly three) affordable condominiums that will meet the city’s affordability standards for families making 80% of AMI. Here are some additional details:

  • Condos would offer both two and three-bedroom floor plans, large enough to accommodate families.
  • We are exploring adding a third condo in what is a currently a generous walk-out basement.
  • The building will receive a full interior and exterior renovation prior to sale, allowing the new homeowners peace of mind.
  • 134 Furman will provide a buffer between adjacent homeowners and the project. 


101 Charlotte Street and the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan

When we embarked on planning the 101 Charlotte Street project we combed through various plans and studies to understand both what frameworks were in place and also what frameworks would guide the City of Asheville’s future. The Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan is perhaps the most visionary in its scale and scope of charting out where Asheville hopes to go as it continues to grow.


Within the Living Asheville Plan a path is identified for accommodating growth: “The Preferred Growth Scenario recommended in Living Asheville: A Comprehensive Plan for Our Future offers the city a unique opportunity to grow around its existing assets – its Downtown, its Innovation Districts, and its transit-supportive centers and corridors.” (pg 314) Of those areas identified for growth, the 101 Charlotte Project falls within one of four “innovation districts” as identified by the city. Those four districts are Downtown, South Slope, North Charlotte Street and the River Arts District.


The concept of bringing more housing and business opportunities to North Charlotte Street is in keeping with city identified goals for Innovation Districts and for the future land use along Charlotte Street which is Traditional Corridor. With regards to how zoning might evolve in these areas the plan says: “Appropriate zoning districts within the Traditional Corridor Future Land Use Category may include: RM6, RM8, RM16 . . . Institutional and Mixed-use Expansion Districts.” (pg 343)

 

The 101 Charlotte Street project therefore is seeking a conditional zoning designation of “Mixed-use Expansion District” for the project area along Charlotte Street as outlined in the Living Asheville Plan. We chose a conditional zoning approach because it allows for an aspirational project, rich in public benefits, on well-located land close to the city’s center. That goal for the site was not achievable under the base zoning code. Additionally, our project meets or exceeds many of the long-range goals outlined in the plan, making 101 Charlotte Street a forward-looking project for the next 100 years. Find this image at the bottom of our "Info" tab.


Planning and Zoning Hearing – Approved in a 4-3 vote

On June 2nd the Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of our conditional zoning request by a 4-3 margin. The project will now advance to an Asheville City Council hearing in July. Council will have the final say on whether our conditional zoning request will be granted.  


Our thanks go out to the City of Asheville Planning Department, the Planning and Zoning Commission and all the residents who provided live, recorded, and written feedback. If you were unable to tune in to the June 2nd hearing, you can view a recording on the City of Asheville’s YouTube page.


We are excited to take this next step and hope to bring new housing, business, and retail opportunities to Charlotte Street. If you’d like to convey your support of the project to City Council, you can do so by visiting our Support This Project tab. 




Show your support and Join us on June 2!

Thanks for all the participation and input on shaping the plans for 101 Charlotte Street. We’d like to ask for your support to encourage the Planning and Zoning Commission and Asheville City Council to approve our project.

Sign and submit a letter of support here. It only takes a few seconds, and it’s the most impactful thing you can do to make 101 Charlotte Street a reality.

If you’re available to attend, the Planning and Zoning Commission will be meeting at 5pm on June 2, 2021 to continue its hearing and vote on the project.

If you can’t make it, you can still complete a letter of support. Thanks again for your participation!






Let's continue the conversation! Keep the feedback coming.

Thank you to everyone who has commented so far! We've had robust online engagement and want to continue it so we can hone the details of the project. We’ve appreciated all your feedback and it’s helped us get a better understanding of the community’s interest in the project. To continue the dialogue, we’ve added some new questions about:

Affordable Housing

Project Program

Open/Outdoor Space

Public Art

Transit

Click through these new topics in our Feedback section HERE and post your ideas to help us continually improve our project. We can’t wait to hear from you! Some results from previous poll questions are below.


Planning and Zoning Hearing – Recessed until June 2, 2021

101 Charlotte Street was reviewed by the Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission on May 5, 2021 as part of the continued conditional zoning review process. We received critical feedback from the commission on our project and look forward to hearing their final thoughts and vote on June 2, 2021.


Thank you to the City of Asheville Planning Department, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and all the residents who provided live, recorded, and written comments. There were some technical difficulties, not unusual in today’s world of Zoom meetings, but the Commission and City Staff persevered, and the hearing lasted over five hours to ensure full public participation and feedback. If you were unable to attend, you can find a recording of the hearing here. Our project starts at the beginning of hour two.


We are still listening and taking feedback as we refine our project details. 

Join us online! Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing on 5/5/21 @ 5pm.

Join us Asheville for the Planning and Zoning Commission hearing tonight at 5pm. Below are ways to attend and engage. The meeting format is virtual but there will be time for public comment following presentation of the project.


● Watch live through the Engagement Hub at https://publicinput.com/MAY5PZC

● Watch live on the City's YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofAsheville

● Listen live by calling 855-925-2801, enter code 9273

● Pre-recorded voicemail comments by calling 855-925-2801, enter code 9273 (available

until 5/4/2021 @ 5:00 p.m.)

● Written public comments - MAY5PZC@PublicInput.com - (available until 5/4/2021 @ 5:00 p.m.)

● Live comments during the meeting by calling 855-925-2801, enter code 9273, press *


We appreciate all the support we've received and encourage everyone to tune in. Below is the before/after on our section of Charlotte Street if the project gains approval.

Design Updates and Planning and Zoning Meeting on May 5.

We have been hard at work over the last month+ in preparation for our filing with the City of Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission. We submitted on April 16 and the public hearing will take place on May 5, 2021 at 5 pm. Check the City’s webpage for online meeting details. Here is a preview of what to expect:

  • Updated architectural treatments on buildings A, B, C, D and F. These changes draw on inspiration from pre-war architecture in the neighborhood. The goal is to provide a classic color palette, familiar building materials, and greater vitality at street level. We are continuing to develop the architectural details of the project.
  • We have committed to preserving the home at 134 Furman Avenue. It is currently two apartments that will be completely renovated and eventually sold as two condos for home ownership. Both homes will be sold as deed-restricted affordable for-sale homes for applicants making between 80-100% AMI. We will work with the City’s Community and Economic Development Department to identify potential qualified buyers at the appropriate time. 
  • Updated affordable housing offering: in addition to the two for-sale affordable homes on Furman, we are providing 16 affordable rental units with a deed restriction for 20 years. Six of the 16 affordable rental units will accept vouchers. We remain committed to providing new, quality affordable housing with this project and expect our offering to continue to evolve.
  • We are retaining three out of every four occupied housing units currently on the site.
  • Our public facing art program will focus on rotating building murals. One will be at grade adjacent to the Building A entrance lobby. The other will be 2-3 stories in height along the Chestnut Street facade of Building B.
  • We are increasing open space from roughly 1 acre to 1.3 acres. This was achieved by creating a 30’ planted buffer connecting to the Baird/Albemarle Place intersection with the center of our site.
  • Changes to our Charlotte Streetscape improvements. Those include:
  • Removing on-street parking on Charlotte Street from our previous proposal.
  • Creating a new 6-7’ wide bike lane with 3-4’ buffer from the current vehicular travel lane.
  • Softscape/pervious surface at the landscape amenity panel.
  • Slightly widened pedestrian and building zones totaling up to 25-26’ from a new curb location.
  • A transit stop and shelter are being offered as part of the improvements being proposed.

All these improvements as well as many others will be funded by the project if approved as proposed by City Council. We look forward to the Planning and Zoning Commission hearing and to any constructive feedback the community might have. See our revised plans here.

Historic Density on Charlotte and Chestnut Street

Density in the Neighborhood – The following case studies benchmark historic density in the North Asheville neighborhoods of Charlotte Street and Heart of Chestnut Hills relative to our project at 101 Charlotte Street. While there are many approaches to achieving residential density and walkability with a site, historically neighborhoods have accepted and later celebrated buildings with densities that exceed current zoning allowances. Now more than ever, with a growing housing crisis, Asheville needs only look to its past for examples of enlightened approaches to density in neighborhoods close to its downtown. The project at 101 Charlotte Street carefully considered the tradeoffs between residential density and neighborhood character and concluded that a density of 35 homes/acre is both appropriate and reasonable for this location.

*data from Buncombe County GIS database 


The King James + Charlotte (90 Charlotte Street)

Approach: The site is comprised of two separate 3-story mixed use residential buildings with adjacent on-site surface parking. Density is concentrated on the prominent corner of the site while parking is located furthest from the corner. 

Residential Density: 37 DU/acre

FAR: 1.01


The Commodore Apartments (215 E. Chestnut Street)

Approach: This is a simple 4-story walk up apartment building set back from the street with surface parking behind the building.  

Residential Density: 43 DU/acre

FAR: 1.1


The Jefferson Apartments (116 E. Chestnut Street)

Approach: A prominent 3.5-story building and courtyard are located at the corner of Merrimon Ave. and Chestnut St. with surface parking at the rear of the building.   

Residential Density: 40 DU/acre

FAR: 0.97


OUR PROJECT (101 Charlotte Street)

Approach: Concentrate density along Charlotte Street where it belongs and gradually step back in scale the further into the site buildings are placed. Centralize parking allowing for a variety of natural and paved open spaces that total over 1.25 acres. Allow the density of residential homes to support complementary uses like office and retail.

Residential Density: 35 DU/acre

FAR: 0.99 (ratio of useable constructed space square footage to total site square footage)

Poll Results! + Clarifications on our Affordable Housing offering

The feedback and engagement from the community has been impressive in the two months our website has been live. In addition to your comments, we wanted to share what you, the community, feel is most beneficial about this project. Clearly, Affordable Housing is a valued component of the project as well as creating neighborhood retail opportunities


To elaborate on affordable housing, there has been some misunderstanding about what exists today on site and what is being proposed in our project. According to the City of Asheville, none of the existing apartments on site count as Affordable Housing according to the City’s guidelines. The 18 Affordable Homes being proposed would count as Affordable Housing and would become part of the city’s official Affordable Housing stock after completion, carrying a deed restriction for a minimum of 20 years. Those homes will also be brand new and of the same quality as the rest of the new housing we are proposing. Further, we are privately funding those 18 new Affordable Homes meaning no public subsidies or grants are being sought. The zoning designation we are seeking also does not require us to provide any Affordable Housing. We are including it because we believe Affordable Housing is an important component of any new housing project and, apparently, so do you. 

We welcome further dialogue on the subject.

Opponents of our project claim we are removing 21 units of affordable housing that are currently occupied in the older homes on site. They have also suggested, and continue to suggest, that we knock down the Asheville Arms, a 56-unit apartment building, which, using their rationale on affordability, would eliminate 56 affordable units since all 56 homes at Asheville Arms fall below 100% AMI, with most falling well below 80% AMI. This kind of conflated conversation about affordable housing misses the mark and muddies the waters of what is truly Affordable Housing and what is not. 

We're listening Asheville! Design updates + new FAQ page.

Our team remains hard at work as we continue outreach efforts, synthesize community feedback and update our design based on numerous private and public meetings. What should you expect? Our design team is:

  • Working closely with the city to refine our proposed improvements on Charlotte Street.
  • Focusing on revising the architecture and most public building facades to better reflect the constructive feedback we’ve received from the community.
  • Reworking some elements of our site plan to mitigate impacts on neighbors and the existing site conditions.

We look forward to sharing those updates with you soon.

Also, in case you missed it, we’ve created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab to provide clarity on a variety of recurring inquiries we’ve received to date. This section will be updated periodically and referenced in our responses on the ‘Feedback’ tab. Check it out. 


TRC Meeting Complete. What’s next?

Thank you to the Asheville city officials who offered feedback during the Technical Review Committee meeting on 3/1/21. We will work with various departments on specific comments and make necessary revisions to advance the project.

To follow the project on the city's portal click HERE.

Please continue to share your feedback and questions in the comments section . Thanks!


Asheville Technical Review Committee Meeting, MARCH 1, 2021 at 2pm


VIRTUAL MEETING - DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED

The City of Asheville Technical Review Committee (TRC) will be hosting a virtual meeting on March 1, 2021 at 2pm to discuss the 101 Charlotte Street Project. Follow this link for meeting details and agenda.

The TRC Meeting is an opportunity for Asheville's various city departments to review and offer comment on proposed projects. Our project was submitted formally on February 3rd and is second on the agenda. Please join and listen. We’ll also be posting a meeting recap so you don’t miss out on any new details. Thank you!


Welcome to the 101 Charlotte Street outreach site!

Thanks for visiting our new website! The purpose of this platform is to provide you with information on the 101 Charlotte Street development and to collect all your feedback.

Please make yourself at home! Poke around to see what your neighbors are discussing and be sure to comment with your own ideas. Also hit that ‘Subscribe’ button to stay in-the-loop on all project updates. 

Everything posted here is sent straight to us at 101 Charlotte Street. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!