A rendering on file with the Buncombe County Planning & Development office show what the Creekside Community on Brevard Road in southwest Buncombe County will look like. The development will include 497 apartments in 34 buildings and a clubhouse. // Rendering by Ambach Communities LLC.

Today’s round of questions, my smart-aleck replies and the real answers:

Question: On Brevard Road, just before the Buncombe County/Henderson County line and near Arden Auto Outlet, there is a rather large construction project that is just getting started. There’s a lot of heavy equipment and a lot of earth is being moved around. What’s going into that location?

My answer: Fingers crossed for a new hotel! Or at least an absurdly large brewpub.

Real answer: This is indeed a honker of a development, comprising 497 apartments in 35 different buildings on 42 acres, as well as two single-family homes. Buncombe County’s Board of Adjustment greenlit the Creekside Community special use permit in the summer of 2022.

This 42-acre site on Brevard Road near the Buncombe/Henderson County border will be home to 497 apartments and 35 new buildings, the developer says. // Watchdog photo by John Boyle

The developer is listed in county planning documents as Ambach Communities LLC, out of Boca Raton, Florida. Mark Ambach with the company told me Tuesday that the plans remain the same as the application, and construction is on schedule.

“This is the first phase, and about two-thirds of the units are under construction now,” Ambach said. “It takes a couple of years for something like this to build out.”

They have not set rents yet, he said.

The application on file says the development will use city of Hendersonville water and the Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District for sewage. The project also will have two entrances off Brevard Road, which include left and right turn lane improvements at the main entrance into the development, and a left turn lane improvement from Glenn Bridge Road onto Brevard Road to improve traffic flow.

The development will include three dog park areas, a community garden area and a pool, two pickleball courts, and a walking path for the residents and guests, according to planning documents. A 2-acre recreation/common area is proposed for the southeast corner.

A satellite image shows the boundaries of the 42-acre site on Brevard Road near the Buncombe/Henderson County border. // Ambach Communities LLC

In all, the development will have 1,079 parking spaces, and documents say it will be “owned and maintained by the developer or any successor owner of the property.”

The highest buildings will be 45 feet tall, and the minimum distance between buildings is 20 feet. Buildings will be a minimum of 60 feet from the Brevard Road right of way, according to planning documents.

In its application, Ambach said it wants the property to be developed to provide different types of housing options in an environmentally friendly way.

“With the subject property being so large, we plan to accomplish this by clustering the development to the greatest extent possible to provide open spaces and buffers to natural features and neighboring properties, and to fit within the existing terrain,” the company stated.

Not surprisingly, a development this size will affect traffic. The company contracted for a traffic impact analysis, and it found the intersections of Brevard Road and Old Fanning Bridge Road, and Brevard Road and Glenn Bridge Road will see added delays, albeit minor.

If you’d like to dive into more details on this project, you can find them on Buncombe County’s Planning & Development site here.

Question: After seeing this post on a parody site on Facebook, I had to wonder if it might actually be true. What say you? Is there a ridiculously fancy Waffle House coming to the Biltmore area? Wouldn’t surprise me.

My answer: First things first — this cannot happen until we have a Golden Corral in Buncombe County.

Real answer: I, too, saw this post, and for a second I thought, “Well, we do have a McDonald’s in the Biltmore area that has a daggone grand piano inside, so maybe…”

Sadly, there’s no truth to this. I reached out to Waffle House, and Vice President of Food Safety and Public Relations Njeri Boss burst my bubble. I said I suspected it was a joke but had to check it out.

“I’m so glad you recognized the parody in this,” Boss said via email. “Yes, it is indeed a fanciful attempt at satire. As they say, satire is the highest form of flattery!”

The post was pretty hilarious. It started out with this: “Classy up your Scattered, Smothered and Covered with bow-tied servers and chandeliers at the world’s fanciest Waffle House.”

It explained how the Biltmore Estate was finished in 1895, and the Vanderbilts built Biltmore Village to accommodate all the workers. Now the area is a thriving upscale restaurant and retail draw.

The post claimed plans for a new Waffle House, “drawn in the grand vision of The Biltmore Historic Resources Commission,” were revealed at a news conference in Asheville. Of course, there were not.

It goes on:

“The Biltmore Waffle Hose (sic) dining room features tables of oak covered to give an authentic diner effect while still keeping it ultra fancy. Bamboo railings, and luminous oak chandeliers under a sweeping pressed-mahogany laid out in squares resembling waffles. With every wood feature boasting a handsome finish resembling a waffle. A baby grand player piano sits in the corner, churning out disembodied tunes you might hear at a fanciful gala, while a gold-leaf mantled fireplace forms the base of a giant stone waffle designed chimney.”

The post had a few other misspellings, but it was humorous:

“The staff will maintain a strict dress code of slacks and a yellow bow-tie. Its diner food meets forced-fanciful and it won’t be cheap. Chicken & waffles, and Filet Tips with jalapeño grits will run $29.95 a pop and beer, wine and liquor will be offered at premium prices.”

Alas, we’ll have to settle for the regular Waffle House fare. And now I’m craving some smothered hash browns and a gigantic omelet.

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Got a question? Send it to John Boyle at  jboyle@avlwatchdog.org or 828-337-0941. To show your support for this vital public service go to avlwatchdog.org/donate.

6 replies on “Answer Man: Giant development coming off Brevard Road? Palatial Waffle House in the works in the Biltmore area?”

  1. So, with over a thousand new parking spaces (and cars), traffic studies confirm that there will be much more traffic. Surprise!. What is the Developers’ responsibility for addressing that? And enhancing water and sewer service line capacity? This is a huge impact for a remote place on a 2 lane road, far from grocery stores, jobs, etc.

  2. And I’ve heard from reliable sources from people they know that Jos. Banks shops, formerly Bell’s Traditionals, are selling part of that building nearest All Souls Episcopal, for a down-sized but up-scaled Dollar Store. Can you check that out, please?

  3. I live a half mile from this development and am very concerned. Brevard Road is already a nightmare, especially when I-26 is backed up (which it is regularly). Brevard Road was supposed to be widened but will not be any time soon due to a budget shortfall. Everyone wants to drive 55-60 on this two lane road. I take my life in my hands every time I try to turn into or out of where I live. I read the plans for this project in its entirety. I disagree with the traffic study that was done and its conclusions. If they have over a thousand parking spaces, how can the traffic impact be less than 100 cars at the busiest time of day? Oh, and the noise and dust from construction? Don’t even get me started.

  4. This new BIG development will use Hendersonville water? Who approved that? Hendersonville water currently has us under level 2 water conservation because of the lack of rain. Where is the water for 497 more apartments going to come from?

  5. The big development on 191 near the Buncombe – Hendersonville county line is just another example of the Buncombe County Board of Adjustments being out of touch with the impact of their ill-advised decisions. On Long Pond Road, between Sardis and Brevard Road, 82-acres has been turned into a version of Post WWII Levitt Town, with yet another development now in progress at the Sardis Road end. The area continues to be swamped with cheap, style-lacking, shanties estimated to host 2-cars each, while just across I-240 the strongly opposed development behind the [avaricious] church in Malvern Hills is exploding in a forest of apartments. A short distance away from Acton Circle, just over I-40 W, the BCBA has approved another massive apartment development in the shadow of the Duke Power substation, across the road from yet another huge housing development approved by the same short-sighted haters of our natural environment.
    These abysmal approvals were uniformly in the monied interests of developers, most of whom don’t live in this area and don’t suffer the consequences of the resulting mess their profiteering leaves behind. Consistent in all cases are the so-called “traffic studies,” that amazingly provide the desired “lack of impact” for approval. I suspect their statistics are compiled on traffic flows in the 2:00 AM to 3:30 AM timeframe.
    Objections to these decimations, of our once bucolic countryside, from people living in the areas approved for them by the BCBA, consistently fall on deaf and indifferent ears at the County level. Apparently, the Board sees this outrage as “progress,” and are their members are addicted to rubbing shoulders with monied developers, as opposed to serving the needs, wants, and desires of their constituents. Maybe, they just like long waits at lights, inadequate roadways, rapid destruction of our rural countryside. Or, more than likely, they just don’t give a damn.
    It is ironic that the real estate community that assembles and provides large parcels of land for these ill-conceived developments, defines the destruction of quality of life features, like pastures, forests, uncluttered mountain views, as “the highest and best use” of the land. But, . . . that’s a rant for another time.

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