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More than $3 million in unexpected costs tied to a long-delayed downtown redevelopment project may put other city efforts on the back burner.
City Council approved Aug. 27 spending an additional $3.4 million on a project that will include 62 affordable housing units and 10,270 square feet of commercial space at the southwest corner of Eagle and South Market streets. Construction is to begin in October.
The city may have to delay projects like burying utility lines along a portion of South Lexington Avenue downtown or preparing for a greenway to parallel Clingman Avenue because of the added expense of the project, called Eagle Market Place, Assistant City Manager Cathy Ball said last week.
It is also possible there will be a change in scheduling a $2 million contribution the city plans to make toward renovations at Pack Place and the Asheville Art Museum.
Councilman Jan Davis said he is bothered the additional cost of Eagle Market Place in the city’s historic African-American business district, but the project deserves high priority because it carries community importance.
“If I looked at it purely from the standpoint of affordable housing ... I would say that it’s not worth it. But this is bigger than that,” Davis said. “This is the opportunity to significantly improve an area that’s held dear by the African-American community. (And,) it should spur other development.”