Buncombe County -- April 3, 2024: Buncombe County Government Community News: At its April 2 meeting,

the Board of Commissioners voted to move forward developing affordable housing on County-owned

properties at 50 and 52 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville. With 200 proposed units, the estimated construction cost comes in at $59.1 million. Units are designated at 80% or less of area median income. The current area median household income is $68,019.

The proposal comes after more than 120 community members provided input on two possible development options through in-person and virtual opportunities. The other option included a reduced footprint that only utilized the property at 50 Coxe Avenue for 130 units.  

“I think this is really exciting,” said Commissioner Amanda Edwards. “I really appreciate you taking time to listen to members of our community. The best thing we can do is maximize the County land available to us to meet our goal of 1,800 affordable housing units.”

“Land is a premium in Buncombe County,” echoed Commissioner Al Whitesides. “When we have a good piece, let’s do it.”

Partnering with the UNC School of Government Development Finance Initiative (DFI), the Board of Commissioners determined the development should:

Maximize the number of new apartments affordable to low- and moderate-income households in a mixed-income setting.
Include active ground floor uses that serve residents and commuters and increase pedestrian traffic along Coxe Avenue.
Maintain direct and safe access from Coxe Avenue to Church Street for pedestrians and cyclists.
Balance maximum density and pedestrian-scale design that extends the vibrant, urban streetscape from Patton Avenue to the South Slope area.

Attract as much private investment as possible to maximize the impact of public investment in affordable housing.
With the approval, the County will begin soliciting development partner(s) and negotiating agreements. Construction on the property is tentatively slated to begin early in 2026.

For more information and to view community meetings, visit engage.buncombecounty.org. To view the April 2 presentation from DFI, click here.


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