When Seashore Hensley was once on the lookout for an workplace for his homebuilding trade in the summertime of 2018, he discovered a former dental workplace on Merrimon Street that had sat empty for years.

“It had excellent bones, so renovation didn’t require primary paintings,” Hensley recollects. “To get the positioning we would have liked and make it financially possible, we had to have more room to rent.”

To that finish, he rents an workplace to an area architect and created two upstairs devices he rents thru Airbnb. The landlord of Seashore Hensley Properties says he’s thankful he was once grandfathered in when town created non permanent condominium restrictions. “Differently, I wouldn’t be capable to have the funds for this location,” he explains.

Hensley understands that some trade homeowners don’t wish to be on a hectic thoroughfare however laments the overabundance of empty homes alongside Merrimon and different an important corridors. Proper subsequent door to his workplace sits a vacant firehouse, inbuilt 1927, that’s nonetheless owned by means of town. Hensley says he often sees squatters there.

Numerous present constructions of each and every form and dimension stay vacant all the way through town, many in decrepit situation after years without a occupants. Even if Asheville ranks a few of the most sensible 11 business actual property markets within the nation in keeping with the Nationwide Affiliation of Realtors’ Q3 2021 Business Actual Property Metro Marketplace Record, 26% of lately to be had business area is vacant, together with business, multifamily, retail and workplace homes.

Choosing up the tempo

The 392-page Dwelling Asheville plan, a long-term construction information that Town Council followed in 2018, cites each “the wish to steadiness preservation of the herbal and constructed surroundings whilst accommodating inhabitants expansion and the wish to supply new and various housing this is priced cost effectively for town’s citizens.” Town spent two years creating the plan and an similar period of time defining 4 alternative zones for long term mixed-use construction.