Dec
05

Defiant Coleman Moves Ahead On Parkside

By

Here I was thinking this story would go quietly into the annals of Asheville history.  Stewart Coleman, however, intends to put his behemoth on public parkland in front of Asheville’s City Hall.  From Mountain X:

Asheville developer Stewart Coleman’s proposal to demolish the Hayes & Hopson Building is making its way through the city’s approval process, and Coleman says the 1905 structure could be torn down before the lawsuit that’s tying up his development proposal for the site is resolved.

“We are trying to get our ducks in a row so that when the lawsuit is overturned — and it will be — we can get to work,” he told Xpress. “Demolition of that building is something that could happen before the hearing of that lawsuit.”

It’s like the man has never been told no in his entire life. A dozen civic organizations, two governmental bodies, a district court judge, a major newspaper, and over 7,000 petitioners told him that his Parkside condominium project was not welcome on our public parkland. Coleman doesn’t care. This guy is giving every developer in town a bad name, and I hope that the development community will talk Coleman down off the ledge.

Regardless of how Coleman proceeds, it is time for the newly seated Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to take a stand to halt any possible future construction on our public square.  Either buy it back or invoke condemnation, Commissioners.  It’s time to correct the error that allowed this arrogant man to defy the town he claims to care about.

Categories : Parkside

Comments

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    Oh, geez. I’ll bet tomorrow I’ll wake up to discover that Bobby’s in the shower.

  2. Mtn Style says:

    I have been wondering what kind of outdoor activities would be worth my while in these 20 something temps. Well, I can’t think of a better way to spend a brisk weekend than under an old magnolia tree…… Damn Coleman.

  3. ecthompson says:

    Seriously, are you really surprised? I’m not.

  4. Tom Buckner says:

    What, again with the Parkside? We’re in a fucking Depression now but this goon still has a way to finance it? THIS is why too-rich asswipes need to pay 80% top marginal rates on income tax like they used to.

    Query to Doug Gibson: I think you must mean Bobby Ewing, but for a second I thought you meant Bobby Medford. A long second, a second of surreal confusion.

    P.S. I now feel certain that Coleman’s favorite book is The Fountainhead.

  5. Doug Gibson says:

    Tom,

    Well, meant Bobby Ewing, but at this rate, Bobby Medford will become sheriff again before the end of the year.

  6. Matt Howard says:

    Consider how much this guy has spent on this debacle so far. We can beat him. Theres more of us than there is of him, and it costs us less collectively to oppose him than it does him to move forward. Like Tom was saying, we are in a depression. At some point Coleman will run out of resources and not be able to get a loan to keep going. I say we view this as not just trying to stop parkside. We should approach this from a perspective of trying to make this as expensive for Coleman as possible. When his bank is broken, we win.

    And Asheville might just get a reputation with developers as hostile territory to try to bring in big projects that benefit only a few.

  7. bobaloo says:

    We’re in a fucking Depression now but this goon still has a way to finance it?

    You should probably google “The Depression”. This is not a depression.

    THIS is why too-rich asswipes need to pay 80% top marginal rates on income tax like they used to.

    I love to hear people wish to punish others for their success. I’m all for the obnoxiously wealthy paying a higher tax, but if you want a depression the best way to do it is to give all the money to the government.

    It’s his land (for now) and he’s determined to push the project through. I don’t support the building there in any way, but I’m hardly surprised he’s carrying on.

  8. Tom Buckner says:

    “I’m all for the obnoxiously wealthy paying a higher tax, but if you want a depression the best way to do it is to give all the money to the government.”

    Not so. In fact, the relapse of 1938 may have been caused by Roosevelt dialing back taxes and programs. High tax eras have been characterized by steady, egalitarian growth. Low-tax eras give us boom-and-bust cycles.

    40% of the world’s wealth is owned by 1% of the population.

    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2006/12/05/globalwealth.html

    Extreme wealth concentration turns the economy into a casino: “As in a poker game where the chips are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.”
    — FDR’s Federal Reserve Chairman, Marriner S. Eccles, 1951

    That’s what Americans have been doing the last couple of decades, because real pay fell, because unions were weak and the whip hand strong. Only now our credit is shot too.

    In this country also, the top 1% own at least 38% of everything.

    http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

    That means that if the top 3 million people in America took everything away from the other 99%, down to the last toothpick, they would only multiply their holdings by a factor of about two and a half.

    Consider the pay of the CEO’s of Ford and Toyota. One source says the following, other sources are similar: Ford CEO Mullally gets $29 million for 4 months.
    Toyota’s CEO Watanabe gets 903,000 for 1 year.
    Mullally rakes in $30,208 per hour based on 60 hours per week, Toyota’s CEO gets $289 per hour based on a 60 hour week. Mullaly is paid as much as 402 line workers, the Toyota CEO gets the pay of just 3.8 line workers. And he seems to do a better job.

    This is “success” in America.

    Without government intervention, Ford, GM, and Chrysler could ALL be dead by the time the daffodils bloom. The Harding/Coolidge/Hoover boom and bust couldn’t kill them, but the Bush bust could. Not a Depression? We’ll see…

  9. Tom Buckner says:

    Behold! No sooner do I get off this site and onto Huffington Post, here’s Robert Reich saying “Shall We Call it a Depression Now?” You can call me a bonehead if you want, but Reich is no fool.

    “We are falling off a cliff,” Reich writes; “When FDR took office in 1933, one out of four American workers was jobless. We’re not there yet, but we’re trending in that direction.”

  10. Question: Are Coleman’s condos selling at Battery Park? Is there a condo glut in downtown now? Just curious.

  11. bobaloo says:

    Tom, I still see no difference between our government owning all the wealth in the land vs. corporations owning it. It’s still an “entity” controlling the wealth. Personally, I trust the public owning it more than the government.
    I acknowledge your statistics, but you’re not making an argument for the government distributing wealth.

    You can call me a bonehead if you want, but Reich is no fool.

    “We are falling off a cliff,” Reich writes; “When FDR took office in 1933, one out of four American workers was jobless. We’re not there yet, but we’re trending in that direction.”

    I’m not calling you a fool, just saying we’re not yet in a “Depression”. It seems Reich agrees with me. Heading for a depression implies that it’s avoidable.

  12. bobaloo says:

    And by the way, you’ve got to be kidding. From Reich:

    Second, a stimulus package must be enacted right away. It needs to be more than $600 billion — which is 4 percent of the national product.

    Really? From where? Do you even realize what the first bailout is really going to cost the U.S.?
    Over 7 TRILLION dollars.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aAnCCWp3ViSU&refer=home
    Before you know it, the value of the dollar will be equal to the yen if we keep this up.

  13. Tom Buckner says:

    Bobaloo sez:
    “Tom, I still see no difference between our government owning all the wealth in the land vs. corporations owning it. It’s still an “entity” controlling the wealth. Personally, I trust the public owning it more than the government.
    I acknowledge your statistics, but you’re not making an argument for the government distributing wealth.”

    Govt is supposed to answer to the will of the people. Corps are not. Corps are really, in a sense, the modern equivalent of baronies, at least when they get big enough to usurp governmental power. Your dentist and dry cleaner are probably incorporated, and that’s not a problem. If, to cite a locally famous example, your dentist goes on a fraud spree, incorporation is not enough to save the dentist from repercussions including dissolution of the corp. Even the auto corps are arguably not big enough to enjoy such protection from reality. But we now know there are corps that are so powerful that it is deemed they must not fail, no matter what they do.

    Indeed, these baronies are now more important than the nation they inhabit.

    As for calling the present crisis a Depression, I admit I’m exaggerating somewhat, if you only take economics into account. If you add in various concerns for the survival of the species, which would have crossed almost nobody’s mind in the 1930’s except perhaps that of H.G. Wells, you may have to conclude that we are actually in much worse trouble now.

  14. Mtn Style says:

    Question: Are Coleman’s condos selling at Battery Park? Is there a condo glut in downtown now? Just curious.

    ,

    I did a qick search on Realtor.com and found 99 listings for condos over $500k. I would presume that this is the price range of condos that would “piss people off”. That 99 number seems extemely low and I don’t think it is at all accurate. I think we do have a glut of condos here. The project I am working on has 12 available condos at $1.5 and they are not listed yet. The Biltmore condos has approximately 80 condos and those are not listed yet. Market street, Bohemian, Grove Park Inn, Riverside, behind Green Life, blah, blah, blah. There are so many condos here it is dizzying. Most of these are either second homes or retirement. With the limited lending going on the development will have to stop soon for what’s not already on the books because banks won’t keep funding without enough pre-sales. There should be a larger focus on affordable housing development but the tax credit finaning plans are in the same boat with not enough lenders. Unfortunately, I think the future will hold a lot more HUD housing projects which tend to be a little lower end than what Asheville is used to but with wages and jobs dissapearing it is what will surely be needed soon.

  15. Tom Buckner says:

    I was telling somebody the other day, if anyone ever seriously proposes to top off the Grove Arcade as a skyscraper, you’ll know that another boom is about to bust. Like Halley’s Comet, more or less; so someone will try to top it out again circa the year 2090.

  16. Matt Howard says:

    On the subject of the condo glut:
    For years I have been having conversations with people about the rapid development and yuppification of Asheville. What can we do about this? When will it end? Will we end up like Atlanta or worse? And I know most of you reading this are on the same page.
    Dont take this the wrong way folks, I know people are hurting out there. But I feel like a recession and hit to the local real estate market may be what we all need to see Asheville “saved” in the long run. I know Im not the first to say this, and Im sure many more are feeling this sentament.
    That’s how Im staying optimistic. Viewing a possible full blown depression as a reality check this town and nation collectively needs. And I dont exempt myself from this.