Feb 13 2013A Real Neighborhood - Eastwood Village
Eastwood Village to mix different types of homes, businesses in an effort to create unique community
By Mark Barrett
Asheville - Since World War II, much of the development in Asheville and across the United States has been built on the assumption that single-family homes go over here, apartments over there, stores in a third place and workplaces in yet another location. Connecting them all has been the car, and critics blame that type of land-use pattern for increased traffic congestion and some environmental problems.
But Buncombe County is seeing a rise in mixed-use developments that combine several of these functions in an attempt to reduce the need to drive for everyday trips and give people a place to live with more of a neighborhood feel.
One of the most recent is Eastwood Village, a development on 25 acres in the Reynolds community that combines two different kinds of housing with a business center in a relatively small space.
Construction of the development on old Charlotte Highway began several weeks ago, and many of the key buildings are scheduled to be completed this fall. Developer Harry Pilos of Delphi Development said the project will appeal to people in a variety of age groups and family situations who are interested in living in a "village" atmosphere within reasonable commuting distance of much of Buncombe County. Components include 25,000-square-foot retail center with some office space, an Asheville Savings Bank branch, an additional location for Little Beaver Day Care, space for 46 single-family homes and a 140-unit apartment complex with a pool and clubhouse that will be available to village residents. Buildings are designed in the Arts and Crafts style.
The retail space is envisioned to include a restaurant and businesses catering to residents' everyday needs like a dry cleaner, postal services store or hair salon. The variety of services available in the development means, "There will be less need to drive around town to take care of basic activities," said architect Michael McDonough, who is designing the retail space. McDonough has laid out the buildings to be more oriented to pedestrians and create what he called "an outdoor room."
"We in a sense have kind of turned our back to (U.S. 74-A) and kind of corralled the wagons to create a space between the buildings," McDonough said. The retail center will draw traffic from nearby Charlotte Highway, which is due to be widened to five lanes by this summer. But McDonough predicted that it will take some retailers a while to get used to the idea that the stores will not be lined up facing the highway in one long strip shopping center. "I think (Pilos) is going to have to build the buildings to get people to realize" the potential for the retail space," he said. "It's not what (prospective tenants) are used to."Growing commuter traffic from Fairview and Reynolds neighborhoods is a key element in plans for the retail and other business parts of the development. Eastwood Village, which Pilos said involves investments totaling $30 million, is one of several building projects along Charlotte Highway that have either been announced or constructed in recent months.
"What I'm hoping for is 'I'm an easy drop off and an easy pickup,'" said Glenda Weinert, owner of Little Beaver Day Care. The location, to be licensed to care for 140 children, will be the third for the company, one of the oldest child care companies in Asheville. Weinert said she knows of no large child care center in either Reynolds or Fairview. That same general area "is underserved from a banking perspective," said Steve Young, executive vice president at Asheville Savings Bank. "If you just go out and take a look at what has happened with the residential movement in that area with the five-laning of the highway, it's a prime opportunity."
The development's location also puts it close to other services. An Ingles grocery store and a CVS drug store sit across Charlotte Highway, and Reynolds High School and Reynolds Middle School are also close by.
Single-family homes will be from 1,500 to 2,400 square feet and are priced from $190,000 to $270,000. They will also be in the Arts and Crafts style. Lots in the first phase of the development range from a little more than a tenth of an acre to about a quarter of an acre. Lots in the second phase will be a quarter of an acre and up. Apartments will rent for $660 a month for one-bedroom units and $825 for two-bedroom ones. Amenities will include fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, balconies and garages. People wanting information about Eastwood Village can contact Delphi at 251-1254.