West Asheville is one of the most popular in-town Asheville neighborhoods. I like to say that it is everything "Asheville" in a microcosm: artsy, funky, granola, eco-conscious, tasty (we like our food in Asheville), and historic. This would surprise someone time traveling from as recent as the 1990s – until the last decade, West Asheville was not a "hot spot."
Rough Beginnings to a Hot Spot: The Evolution of West Asheville
Historically, West Asheville was its own town and was absorbed by Asheville in the 20th century. As a result of once being a "town," it has a "main" street: Haywood Road. In the 1950s, Haywood Road was a fairly bustling commercial corridor of furniture stores and other shops. However, it was also a fairly dilapidated area of run-down store fronts (except for the furniture store, which is still there and has always had a nice appearance). Until very recently, the appliance parts store still had “dead” refrigerators and similar retired appliances on the sidewalk in front of the store. Nothing says "classy" like old appliances sitting around in front of a business (yes, I’m kidding).
At its core, West Asheville was a modest hard-working part of town, filled with bungalows from Asheville's boom period in the early 1900s. Many of these small homes had become a bit run-down, and there wasn't much of evidence of pride in the community. Then, in the late 1990s, West Asheville was re-discovered as a convenient, affordable option for in-town living. Parts of the area had always remained nice, desirable neighborhoods, such as Malvern Hills, the Vermont Avenue corridor, and Windsor Park. Others had become shabby, and people began to purchase the homes at prices that allowed them to be renovated; thus, the renaissance was on!
Haywood Road began to transform, with the opening of the organic West End Bakery, Sunny Point Cafe, The Lucky Otter and a nice variety of additional eateries and shops. Now, some of the best organic and local-food-based restaurants are in West Asheville.
West Asheville Green Homes, Bungalows, and Fixer Uppers
Convenient to I240, Patton Avenue, the River Arts District and Clingman Avenue, West Asheville is a great downtown location to live. The homes range from old 1920s bungalows in various states of rehabilitation and 1950s homes with compact floor plans, to recently built "eco" homes on small lots. Prices begin in the mid-200s (for a very modest home) and reach prices around $500,000 for the newer, eco homes. It can be tricky to find a move-in ready house under $200,000, but there are usually good options in the $250-$350k range. If you think West Asheville is the neighborhood for you, send me an email or give me a call at 828-216-2300.
To learn more about this popular neighborhood, check out these recent articles from the Asheville Citizen-Times profiling West Asheville:
- West Asheville's longtime businesses thrive among Haywood Road hipsters
- West Asheville is crafting an individual art scene