Woodfin: Business hub prepares for coffee, greenways, growth

By  of the Asheville Citizen-Times, epatrick@citizen-times.com

WOODFIN – Sometimes a sign is just a sign. A few months ago, elegant cream and black logos went up at the sprawling former mill complex at 2000 Riverside Drive, proclaiming a name change from Riverside Business Park to the Mill at Riverside.

As real estate prices rise in Asheville, sleek new branding has come to represent rents that are out of reach for many. But maybe not this time. This sign is just a sign, said Nathan Brown, who owns the building with his family.

The mission of the 12.5-acre property with its approximately 350,000 square feet of buildings remains as ever, Brown said: to provide reasonable rents for local businesses. This strategy, although maybe not the most lucrative, has fostered a stunning variety and number of well-known Asheville businesses, including iPlay baby products, Watershed Drybags, Oowee Products (leather koozies), Pyranha Kayaks, the Biltmore Co.’s retail arm and about 50 others.

“It’s kind of this facility that’s been providing reasonably priced space for local businesses and entrepreneurs for decades now,” Brown said. “We were just trying to breathe some new life into it and just do a little rebranding.”

Upgrades include a coffee shop that will open in spring, wayfinding signage for the labyrinthine hallways, staircases and parking lots, and outdoor community spaces where warehouse workers and entrepreneurs can get some fresh air and take in the French Broad River, which runs along the length of the property.

Read more on the website of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

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