Left to right are TPDF Committee Chair Robert Foster, Mayor Esther Manheimer,
BCTDA Chair Jim Muth and Explore Asheville President & CEO Stephanie Brown.
The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) voted at its regular Oct. 25 board meeting to increase its investment in the City of Asheville’s Riverfront Redevelopment Program. The board voted to invest $4.6 million in additional grant funding for the completion of the southern section of the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP), which includes: roadway improvements, a sidewalk, street trees, on-street parking, landscaping, bicycling facilities and stormwater improvements along a one-mile corridor.
“The Buncombe County TDA continues to deliver on its mission to be a leader in the economic development of Buncombe County by dedicating lodging tax revenue to projects that make the community a better place to live and visit,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.
The community received the funding announcement positively. It was especially welcome news to community members who were disappointed when the City announced this summer that, to stay within the original budget, this section of the RADTIP project would be postponed until additional funding could be secured.
“The RADTIP Project is all about safe connections to great places,” said Brent Starck, co-developer of a group of buildings on Foundry Street, including local businesses like Chainheart Bicycles and 12 Bones Smokehouse. “Together, we and our neighbors are creating a major destination for locals and visitors at this southern gateway. The completion of this section of the project will help these small businesses, including our existing artist community, be successful.”
One of the most anticipated improvements is the building of a two-way protected cycle track — the first of its kind in Asheville — along Lyman Street.
“The Multimodal and Riverfront Commissions worked together to recommend to Council to prioritize funding for this southern section so that it could be built as originally designed by the community,” said Bruce Emory, chairman of the City’s Multimodal Transportation Commission. “This TDA investment will help ensure that one mile of sidewalk is built along the east side of Lyman Street and the bicycle track is built and that it will be seamlessly connected to the other bicycle facilities planned for the riverfront.”
The City first received TDA grant awards for riverfront redevelopment in 2014. Funding has helped to build a portion of the new French Broad River Greenway and trailhead at Craven Street. Other improvements include: river access safety additions, a crosswalk on Amboy Road and a new arts and culture center at 14 Riverside Drive that provides public restrooms and visitor wayfinding. This additional investment brings the total TDA funding for the riverfront program to $7.125 million.
For more information on the RADTIP, please visit ashevillenc.gov/River.
To view information about all of TDA’s 2017 grant awards click this link.