Asheville pivots from possible Amazon facility; 3 buildings proposed – Citizen Times

Asheville pivots from possible Amazon facility; 3 buildings proposed – Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – Three industrial-use buildings are proposed near Enka Village, a site previously approved by City Council for a 130,000 square-foot distribution center, long rumored to be a potential Amazon distribution site, although the company never confirmed that.
The new site plans and configuration are more than four times the size of the previous proposal, with three buildings totaling 585,000 square feet, dubbed the “Enka Commerce Park” in the plans submitted to the city May 25. 
The project is proposed by Greensboro-based Samet Corporation, the same company that led the initial project, and city urban planner Will Palmquist confirmed it is the same site of the project approved by City Council in January 2021
Answer Man:Possible Amazon warehouse in Enka on hold?
Readers have noted that despite council approval, the project seemed to stagnate — with no construction moving forward on the parcel. 
Brian Hall, a president with the company, said the pivot to a new proposal comes since Samet was “instructed to hit the stop button” on the previous project. 
The current conditional zoning request will take the site back to a generic site plan — one that could accommodate various users on the 45.5 acre parcel rather than a “specific user” and “specific use,” Hall said. 
When asked whether the previous facility was intended for use by Amazon, Hall said he cannot speak about past projects. 
More: 850 students estimated to have been homeless in Asheville, Buncombe schools this year
He said Samet does not currently have any operators lined up for the three proposed buildings. 
More: Possible Amazon warehouse passes Asheville City Council 5-2; Enka project to bring 355 jobs
Palmquist said the general use of the site will remain the same, namely warehouse/distribution use, but the overall site plan and configuration has been updated. 
He said he doesn’t have information about future or prior tenants and couldn’t offer insight on the delays, “other than a possible change in needs of the proposed tenant, or possibly a different tenant altogether.”
The operator of the initial warehouse was not revealed during the previous rezoning process. 
Other development news: New Ingles on Patton Avenue approved; Emma community members rejoice
Amazon rumors were stoked in part by Samet’s involvement, as it built the Amazon distribution center in Mills River that opened in September 2020
Though the Enka site is already zoned for commercial expansion, the project must amend its conditional zoning to reflect the new layout and details — a process that will first need review from the Technical Review Committee, then the Planning and Zoning Commission and, ultimately, Asheville City Council for final approval. 
Palmquist said conditional zonings take approximately four months to approve, barring any setbacks, and could be before City council in August or September. 
Hall said there is not yet a price tag associated with the project. If it garners council approval, he expects it will move forward in phases, beginning with construction of one building. 
Samet is working with the city’s economic development office to attract job creators and other companies that want to locate and invest in the commerce park. Potential uses are light industrial or manufacturing, distribution and packing and assembly, said Hall.
“You could look at some of the existing users that are there … as good examples,” he said. 
More: Asheville’s Muni golf course, greenways, WNC nature center might see $7.8M in TDA funding
According to application documents, the proposed buildings are single-story steel frame and concrete tilt-paneled construction. The maximum building height is 48 feet. 
It is anticipated that traffic would be at the same level or less than that of the existing Traffic Impact Analysis that has previously been approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation for this site.
Each building will have associated employee parking, truck loading docks and utilities, such as stormwater management, to serve the proposed facility. 
There are 463 employee parking spaces proposed, including 18 accessible spaces. 
Located between Smokey Park Highway and Sand Hill Road, the site is also home to the historic 139-foot tall clock tower American Enka erected in the late 1920s.
That’s one thing that hasn’t changed about the new plans, said Hall: the clock tower will remain and receive necessary repairs. 
“We heard loud and clear how important that was in our first round, we’re doing that in this plan, that’s a very important part,” Hall said. 
Related: 
Also preserved are the city’s proposed greenway plans, and a May 24 neighborhood meeting affirmed the project would not have a negative impact to the greenway. 
Hall said it was an amenity Samet was allocating space to accommodate. 
The proposed greenway, known as the Enka Heritage Trail, is planned to cross the property along the western boundary with a 10-foot paved path. Final alignment and corresponding easements will be coordinated with Buncombe County. 
Related: What are the top 10 greenway projects coming to Asheville?
A county-led project, the greenway will highlight area history and nearby points of interest. 
A minimum 15% of the site will be protected open space, according to proposed conditions included in the site application. 
Sarah Honosky is the city government reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA TODAY Network. News Tips? Email shonosky@citizentimes.com or message on Twitter at @slhonosky. 

source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.