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.
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.
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 email@example.com or 828-337-0941. To show your support for this vital public service go to avlwatchdog.org/donate.