Parkside: Get Your Programs!


Folks asked me to put together a list of the players in this drama. Here’s a partial list. I’m hoping all y’all will fill in the blanks, and I’ll add them to the post as you do. Thanks to Cecil and she-who-isn’t-doing-activism for getting the ball rolling.

Black Dog Realty: One of Stewart Coleman’s realty companies. Purchased the old jail and public parkland in suspicious deal.

CIBO: Coalition of Independent Business Owners . a right-wing group that has paid staff to attend all city and county planning board meetings and Commissioner/City Council meetings.

Coleman, Stewart: Son of the developer of the Asheville Mall, and the person who bought the property that is now being proposed as Parkside Condos.

Connolly, Joe: Current Buncombe County attorney.

Downtown (D.T.) Commission: A City/County appointed board of citizens that reviews large downtown projects and makes unbinding recommendations to City Council and developers. The D.T. Commission is made up mainly of people working in development field with a few non-vested interests thrown in. Developers are under mandatory obligation to go in front of this board – compliance, though, is voluntary – and this can only be changed by the state legislature under what’s known as “enabling legislation.”

Frue, Michael: Assistant county attorney. Proponent of Parkside and author of email suggesting the County threaten Pack Square Conservancy with budget cuts for opposing it.

Gantt, David: Member of Buncombe County Commissioners and candidate for Chair of that body. He is the only Commissioner to openly admit that the Parkside sale was a mistake.

Geiselman, Marilyn: Executive director, Pack Square Conservancy.

Glines, Alan: City of Asheville planner.

Greene, Wanda: Current Buncombe county manager. Authorized Parkside to stage their construction in the Pack Square Park. Shepherded Progress Energy secret deal through Commission. Pressured Pack Square Conservancy to alter their views on Parkside.

Hughes, Kathy: Secretary to the Buncombe Board of Commissioners.

Hyde, Wallace: Big player in real estate, state’n’national politics. His wife is a former foreign ambassador. Hyde has been involved in multiple real estate deals with County Government. He bought out Commissioner Stanley’s share of Hayes & Hopson before renting it to the County for office space. He later sold Hayes and Hopson to Swag Holdings, LLC. He raised a lot of money for Commissioner David Young.

Oast, Bob: City attorney.

Pack, George: deceased philanthropist who deeded the eastern portion of the proposed Parkside property to Buncombe County on the condition that if it were ever sold, ownership would revert to his descendants. Pack Square is named after him.

Pack Square Agreement: Originally written in 2001, this agreement between the City, County, and Pack Square Conservancy created building guidelines in the Pack Square Park.

Park Square Conservancy: Non-profit organization charged by the City and the County with management of redevelopment of the downtown park.

Parkside, LLC: Company, including Stewart Coleman and others, who want to build the ParkSide Condo highrise project on Pack Square.

Parkside Files, The: Records obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request. These records are posted at Scrutiny Hooligans here:

Peterson, Carol: Buncombe County Commissioner and candidate for re-election. She’s said the deal “might’ve been a mistake”.

Ramsey, Nathan: Chair of Buncombe County Commission. Running for re-election. He initially said that the sale of parkland was “no big deal”. It was Ramsey who inserted the sale of the parkland onto the Nov. 21, 2006 Commission meeting agenda.

Rasmussen, Steve: Author of the Rasmussen Report regarding Parkside shortcomings.

SBCC: Stewart B. Coleman Construction.

Shuford, Scott: Former city of Asheville planning director, resigned his post last year in firestorm of controversy (Staples, Greenlife). Coleman claims to have met with Shuford since 2005 regarding Parkside.

Sneed, Albert: Attorney well-known for representing developers; sued the county over “open” zoning. CIBO.

Snyder, Keith: Assistant County Attorney. Cheerleader for threatening Pack Square Conservancy with budget cuts if Pack Square Conservancy opposed the Parkside project.

Stanley, Bill: Buncombe County Commisioner and candidate for re-election, Former owner of Hayes & Hopson building, later partner with Wallace Hyde in ownership of the building.

Sternberg, Jerry: Developer, CIBO, had a financial stake in Hayes & Hopson building.

Swag Holdings – One of Stewart Coleman’s companies.

Tuch, Shannon: Asheville City Planning Department. Has served as interim planning director since Scott Shuford left the position.

Whalen, Pat: Member (Chair?) of the Downtown Commission (see entry on D.T. Comm.); director of Public Interests Projects, a downtown development concern that has tastefully restored many downtown buildings including the Orange Peel.

Young, David: Current Buncombe County Commissioner, voted for Parkside Sale. Unsuccessful bid for State Treasurer. Made $60k at fundraiser hosted by Wallace Hyde.

Below is a list of posts at Scrutiny Hooligans on the Parkside project:

Incorrect and Wanting a Handout

Time To Say Something

Coleman and County Teamed Up Against the Conservancy

The Parkside Files

The Great Negotiators

“Public Forever” or Forever Lost?

Time To Pay Attention


On The Ground

Coleman Needed Four Votes, He Got Three

Since Calling For Someone Else To Investigate Doesn’t Seem To Be Working

The Parkside Follies Come to the P&Z

More Questions Arise

Thought Experiment – Parkside Edition

Bothwell: Bill Stanley “Certainly Knew” He Was Selling The Park

Categories : Local, Parkside


  1. Jim says:

    I’m intrigued that someone would name the holding company for a shady land deal “Swag Holdings.

    Did they think up this name before or after Enron named one of their shady subsidiaries “Chewbacca”?

  2. Becky says:

    Not related to Parkside, but interesting nonetheless — poor Colemans, they tried to shelter their profits from the IRS, and they accountant apparently misled them! No wonder Stewart is cranky. He has to pay taxes for selling the mall! If you’re wealthy enough, aren’t you supposed to be able to find ways around that?

    In Asheville, N.C., three businessmen who sold a local mall at a huge profit said that William Spitz of KPMG told them that the strategy to shelter those profits was ”bulletproof” and that it ”used the I.R.S.’s own rules against” the agency. Mr. Spitz was also quoted in court papers as saying that Dale Earnhardt, the race car driver who died in a crash in 2001, saved $4 million using the tax shelter in 1997.

    The three businessmen, Richard L. Coleman Jr., Stewart B. Coleman and Thomas W. Coleman, said in their suit that KPMG told them to pay no attention to I.R.S. rules requiring that tax shelters be registered. KPMG was adamant, the men said, that it was selling something different, called a ”tax investment strategy.” The Colemans said the I.R.S. later rejected the strategy as a worthless ”tax shelter scam.”