Your Asheville wishlist: From Costco to affordable housing


It’s no secret Asheville is killin’ the game. From being 5th top music city in the U.S. (National Geographic) and one of the best place to travel in 2018 (CNN Travel), we have something goin’ on that people want in on.

But even with all it has to offer, there’s always something to be desired – so we asked you to share the big idea or business you want to see come to Asheville.

Last week, we asked you on Instagram + Facebook to fill in the blank: What if Asheville had __________?

And boy, did our readers deliver. By Friday, we had 250+ comments about what you’d like to see here in Asheville. We’ve tallied up your answers to come up with the top 10 requests.

1. More sidewalks + bike lanes 

  • “I wish Asheville had better bus service, bike sharing, and more sidewalks:  i.e.: less cars! A major bike trail like the swamp rabbit in Greenville … we have found Asheville to be  a very biker unfriendly place (try to ride downtown from Woodfin on Merriman Avenue) – Tom B. 
  • Sidewalks and/or a safe bikeway.-  Carlisle R.
  • “A higher walkability score via more sidewalks and lower speed limits on certain roads.” – Cara C.
  • “Real sidewalks in neighborhoods and busy streets….not just hit and miss.”  – Sue B.
  • “More bike lanes/greenways.” – Mae M.
  • “I would love to see a safer way to bike around the whole city…many of the bike lanes end in a way that causes bicyclists to make bad choices.” – Denise C.

2. Higher paying jobs + more career opportunities

  • A better job market. – Ava R. 
  • Jobs that paid a living wage. – @ghostfacekahlua
  • “An actual large scale employer other than hospital, college, and city/county. Focus less on retail, hotels, restaurants, and apartments. Save land developments for large industry or tech innovation buildings to attract new employers. Asheville is an amazing city that thousands of people would love to live if their were employers offering jobs that were actual careers.” – Bret Armstrong
  • “Jobs. Good paying jobs.” – Roger R. 
  • “Higher paying jobs.” – @mistickles322
  • “Good jobs.” – Helen H. 

3. Costco

  • Costco!!” – @jmrivera1986
  • “Costco!” – Ellen S.
  • “A Costco.” – Joey G.
  • “A costco.” – Deborah M. 

4. Affordable housing 

  • “Affordable housing? 🤔” – Ashley M.
  • “Affordable housing for locals, retired people with a lower-to-moderate fixed income, etc.” – Rebecca S.
  • “Affordable housing. No homelessness.” – Mary L.
  • “Affordable housing, something akin to urban planning, and sustainable (non-service-related) jobs. Less focus on tourism and more on vibrant residency.” – Megan N.
  • “There are tons of jobs, every sign in town says now hiring. What we need is affordable housing for the people who do those jobs. You can’t live in this city making $10/hr working at (pick any store in town)…this will also bring cultural diversity. We just need to spend the money wisely and make sure those affordable areas are safe, and funded properly.” – Patrick W.
  • “Affordable housing – if building apartments, make them reasonable, not high-end condos. And as you’re asking, a good takeout Chinese place in East Asheville would be nice.” – Rosemary P.

5. Transit + bus system

  • More public transportation – “Breanna L.” 
  • “Groesbeck Dependable Public Transportation.” – “Mae T.” 
  • “Less cars and more bike lanes, red light cameras, congestion and VMI pricing on automobiles, traffic enforcement and bus service.” – Jay R. 

6. Chop’t or other salad restaurant

  • “@choptsalad!!! 🙏🏻” – @houseofnewman
  • “Chopt or Sweetgreen!” – Lauren W.
  • “Super salad bar restaurant !!” – Pamela C.

7. A waterpark + more public pools

  • “YES A WATERPARK!!” – Kim R.
  • “Reality A Waterpark in a natural setting, using the terrain and a mountain stream. Something not tacky.” – Anna I.
  • “A giant indoor swimming complex! A reaaaaly nice one with an area for kids and a giant hot tub and big pool for laps and water aerobics!” – Sylvia H.
  • “Dunbar Replace the crappy public swimming pools with public water parks like Greenville has.” – Sonja C.
  • “Water park like Greenville the pools here are one dimensional. We drive to Greenville every summer and they get our money in a pass because it’s worth the fun.” – Sarah T.

8. A stock car racing track

  • “A Stock Car Race Track.” – Rebecca G.
  • “Get a race track back in the area. Fans Of The Asheville Motor Speedway.” Christy M.
  • “We need a race track for stock cars, we gave them one for their bicycles.” Landon M.

9. Deli

  • “Jewish deli…please so needed.” – @chefschmidt
  • “A great deli.” Lindsay L.
  • “A New England style deli.” Ryan H.
  • “A real NY Deli.” – Marilyn S.
  • “A real deli with real bagels, killer sandwiches, and a big barrel of pickles!” – Sam K.

10. Cheesecake Factory

  • “Cheesecake Factory!!” – Colleen L.
  • “The Cheesecake Factory.” – Jessica T. 
  • “Even with all the great restaurants, I wish I could get the Caesar salad at Cheesecake Factory once in a while.” – Leni S. 
  • “Cheesecake Factory!!” – @higgins.rebekah