Blog :: 10-2007

Town And Mountain Realty Named One Of The Top Real Estate Companies In Asheville



10/24/2007 - Town And Mountain Realty Named One Of The Top Real Estate Companies In Asheville

 Town and Mountain Realty is proud to recieve the honor of being voted one of the top realty companies in Asheville by the readers of the Mountain Xpress. Thanks so much to our clients for all the support and we look forward to working even harder next year to be Asheville's top real estate company.

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Biltmore Village Condo Plan Recycles Industrial Building



10/21/2007 - Biltmore Village Condo Plan Recycles Industrial Building

What: Lofts at Mica Village.

Where: 75 Thompson St., on the eastern edge of Biltmore Village.

Who: Mica Village LLC, owned by Whit Rylee, Jon Sheintal and Regina Trantham, is developer and general contractor. Charlotte-based Reinhardt Architecture is handling architecture for the loft portion of the project.

What's There: A brick and metal industrial building on the property was once used to mill mica, a mineral found in the region. It contained "a huge, loud machine with furnaces and belts, and this big cloud of smoke came up," Rylee said. It was very much like out of Dr. Seuss. There was this 2-inch tube that you opened and it filled a 50-pound bad."

Behind that on the 3-acre site are two older metal buildings and a couple of modern metal buildings.

What's happening: Four loft-style condominiums in the main building have been completed and are occupied. Six more will be finished in coming weeks. They are selling in the low to mid-$200,000 range.

The older metal buildings will eventually be converted into office space, and the new ones will be torn down, Rylee said. Partners haven't decided what they will do with remaining open space on the proprty.

More Information: Contact Dana Wingate here at Town and Mountain Realty 232-2879 or visit

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Asheville's New Tallest Building Approved



10/18/2007 - Asheville's New Tallest Building Approved

ASHEVILLE A vacant lot between an Asian restaurant and an empty building on Biltmore Avenue will be the site of the tallest building in Asheville.

The City Council gave developers of The Ellington hotel and condominium building the nod Tuesday, voting 6-1 to approve the 23-story building.

Developers had proposed to lower the downtown high-rise to 21 stories after hearing concerns about size, but council members said given all factors, the taller building was a better design.

The Ellington will be just taller than the current highest structure, the BB&T building.

The lone no vote came from Councilman Bryan Freeborn, who voiced concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety.

The project had drawn criticism from people who said it would be out of scale with surrounding two- and three-story buildings.

Pinky Zalkin, 58, of Kenilworth, was handing out green NO signs in front of City Hall before the meeting. The former real estate manager from Nevada City, Calif., said she didnt want Asheville to become overdeveloped like her last home.

Others, such as frozen custard storeowner Jim Kammann, said it was good to see tall construction in the center of town instead of sprawl on the outskirts.

We need to be perceived in this town as friendly to business, and I just hope that we do not send the wrong signal. Business is not bad, Kammann said.

The Ellington will stretch from Biltmore back to South Lexington Avenue to the west and Aston Street to the south. From above, the L shaped footprint would wrap around behind Doc Cheys Noodle House.

The Dallas-based Beck Group will develop the $85 million project with other partners, including the Grove Park Inn, a minor investor that will operate the hotel.

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Go Green, Make Money



10/13/2007 - Go Green, Make Money

Cutting greenhouse-gas emissions could add more green to North Carolinians wallets, researchers at Appalachian State University have found.

Preliminary results of a study in progress indicate that proposed state policies meant to reduce global warming could also add jobs.

Researchers looked at the potential economic ripple effect of implementing 31 of the 56 measures a panel recommended this month, graduate student David Ponder said in presenting his findings Tuesday to state lawmakers.

They estimate that the Climate Action Plan Advisory Groups proposals, ranging from more stringent building codes to forest preservation, could create more than 328,000 jobs by 2020.

The policies could end up boosting the income of North Carolinians by more than $14 billion. Labor-intensive new forestry and agriculture practices would require more jobs, Ponder said, while more efficient energy use would provide another economic boost.

Because your energy bill is less, youre spending more money on other goods and services in the economy, he said.

The estimates dont take into account new industries that might spring up as the demand for renewable energy develops.

Thats where the real money can be made, Rep. Charles Thomas, R-Buncombe said, with WNC uniquely positioned to make it because of residents desire for eco-friendly living.

Whoever successfully taps into the market for renewables will print money, Thomas said Tuesday while attending his first meeting since being appointed to the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change.

It will make the Alaskan economy with the (oil) pipeline look like some kind of lemonade stand, Thomas said.

The possibilities described Tuesday were more modest, in comparison to an overall state economy in which workers in 2004 made about $250 billion in 5 million jobs, Ponder said. But he said it shows that curbing climate change, far from hurting the economy, can actually add jobs.

The conservative John Locke Foundation said proposals that would raise taxes and energy costs wont help the states economy.

If youre going to have new industries and jobs are created there, what an economist would say is, where are those jobs going to be diverted from? said Roy Cordato, the foundations vice president for research.

The advisory group says adopting all of its recommendations would cut projected 2020 emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 47 percent, returning the emissions to 1990 levels.

The Appalachian State researchers will release a final report after predicting the effects of the advisory groups other recommendations, including state standards for auto emissions, on jobs.

The jobs created would be more stable for Western North Carolina residents than those in the tourism industry that now dominate the region, said UNC Asheville environmental studies professor Dee Eggers, another member of the legislative commission that will advise on which proposals should become law.

Eggers cautioned, though, that new careers cant flourish without new educational options.

We need to make sure people are trained to carry out these jobs, she said.


by Jordan Schrader,

published October 24, 2007 12:15 am


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Haw Creek "Country In The City"



10/5/2007 - Haw Creek "Country In The City"

HAW CREEK For most of its history, this farming communitys residents lived a mountain apart from city dwellers in Asheville.

Those wanting to get from the isolated valley to downtown first had to go in the opposite direction, following the Swannanoa River south and west to Biltmore Village and then taking Biltmore Avenue north into downtown. They might have taken a stagecoach from Millers store, which served as a stop for travelers for 80 years.

That changed when road builders blasted a tunnel through Beaucatcher Mountain in the late 1920s, creating Tunnel Road. The first subdivisions in the valley sprang up in the 1950s, said Realtor and Haw Creek resident Chris Pelly.

But the biggest change came 50 years later, when workers cut a swath for Interstate 240 in Beaucatcher Mountain in the early 1980s, Pelly said.

The change set off a development boom which continues to this day, with Haw Creek averaging about one new subdivision a year, he said.

But Pelly, who has lived with his family in Haw Creek for more than 15 years, and other longtime residents say the valley maintains much of its character and charm despite the influx of new construction, including many pricey homes.

Pelly said Haw Creek has a country-in-the-city feel. The main downside to the influx, he said, is that some amenities such as sidewalks havent accompanied new residents, though he is working to change that.

As president of the Haw Creek Community Association, I see a big part of my role as advocating for these improvements, he said.

Bob Jolly, 63, has lived in the valley since he was 18 months old, but he chuckles at being called a native.

The only thing a native is, is when someone kicks a rock over, we slide out, Jolly said.

His grandparents came to Haw Creek from Brevard in 1937 so his grandfather could find work as a carpenter. Jolly, who has worked in heating and air conditioning and real estate and development, said the area has changed, and he admits the changes are not always to his liking. The important things remain the same though, he said.

We havent really changed the climate. We still have the four seasons and weve always got the mountains to climb and the valleys, he said.

by Asheville Citizen Times

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