A Dynamic Partnership Moving Forward

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Cindy Weeks (left), from Mountain Housing Opportunities, and Stephanie Twitty, of the Eagle-Market Street Development Corporation standing in front of the Del Cardo building, one of the properties to be redeveloped.   Photo: Urban News

By Sarah Williams

A recently established partnership for revitalization of the Block has been designed to help restore Asheville’s historic black business district as a thriving, residential, and economically vibrant community.

Stephanie Swepson Twitty, head of Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, and Cindy Visnich Weeks of Mountain Housing Opportunities are the two bright minds that have woven the two organizations into this strategic union.

The Eagle Market Streets Project, now known as “Eagle Market Place,” has made the following achievements:
•    Removed UST at 40 South Market Street in cooperation with Land of Sky Regional Council
•    Performed an analysis of other environmental concerns currently in process
•    Hired Tise-Kiester Architects from Chapel Hill, specialists in
affordable housing and historic preservation properties (This is the
first time an architect of this caliber has worked on this project)
•    Completed current schematic drawings, which have been reviewed by
subcommittees of EMSDC and MHO who are collaborating on the project
•    Will submit financing requests during January-May 2011
•    Will apply for local approvals January-May 2011
•    Completed a market study that shows good demand for housing units planned

Anticipated Benefits
to the Community:
Revitalization Impact
•    Residential – 70 units of workforce/affordable-rental housing
(Note: This is currently the only project planned for the Block that
proposes infilling with approximately the same number of housing units
that were present prior to those demolished during Urban Renewal)
•    Economic – Catalyst/impetus for socioeconomic community development
Eagle Market Place will restore and improve the Dr. Collette building
and the Del Cardo building for use as a community EMSDC business,
housing economic development programs and offering commercial space when
the project is complete. The Ritz building will be rehabilitated into
residential space.

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