If you’ve been traveling on US 70 between East Asheville and Swannanoa, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that some new developments are in our future. Here’s a rundown on several projects in the works:
Jasper Apartments – Residents have been watching for weeks as crews cleared the large lot at the corner of US 70 and Warren Wilson Road. The 8+-acre site is the future home of a new 84-unit affordable apartment complex. Developer Jim Yamin says his company, Workforce Homestead, Inc., was able to close on financing for Jasper Apartments at the end of last year, and site prep has moved forward since then at a good pace.
When completed, the development will feature three apartment buildings containing one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, with a separate shared community building. The COVID pandemic has created some construction delays that will likely continue, but Yamin hopes Jasper Apartments will be ready for occupancy by March of 2022.
Pre-leasing will likely begin 60-90 days before the buildings receive certificates of occupancy from the county. There will be a four-tiered rent structure, for applicants earning 30%, 50%, 60%, and 80% of the median income in Buncombe County. Ten percent of the apartments will be set aside for residents with disabilities.
The Villas at Swannanoa – Another project in earlier stages of development is The Villas at Swannanoa, an affordable, 60-unit housing development for residents aged 55 and up. The Villas will be located at 2255 US 70, just west of the Swannanoa Ingles and across from the new East Haven apartments.
Developer Stephen Drake says architectural and infrastructure plans are being developed, and geotechnical and environmental studies are underway. Once closing on the 2.24-acre tract takes place — which Drake hopes will be within the next couple of months —and necessary permits are obtained, site work and construction will begin.
If no unexpected delays occur, the plan is to open the community around July of 2022. Rents should range between $310 and $1,087 per month, depending on the size of the apartment and the income of the resident. Applicants earning between 30% and 80% of Buncombe County median income will be eligible to apply.
1670 Tunnel Road – Near the western boundary of Swannanoa. and adjacent to Barbara Bowman-Hensley’s Gentle Family Dentistry office, Frank Polk is constructing two 50-by-70 foot commercial buildings that should be available later this year for business tenants, plus a smaller building at the back of the property for his son’s grading business and personal use.
Polk foresees the two larger buildings as suitable for a retail business such as a carpet company, home furnishings store, auto parts store, or other similar business. He doesn’t anticipate leasing the spaces for restaurants or other public gathering places. The construction will be metal buildings on concrete slabs, with stone veneer on the fronts to dress them up a bit.
The original target date for completion of this project was June, 2021, but weather and other delays have Polk thinking it will be more like September or October before the buildings are finished.