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Distillery out, Autoworx in on Seventh Avenue

Autoworx opened on Seventh Avenue East last week after moving from Pine Street. Autoworx opened on Seventh Avenue East last week after moving from Pine Street.

AutoWorx, which had been on Pine Street since it opened in 2002, has moved to Seventh Avenue East, gaining more space for customers and services, owner John McMurray says.


“We’re open. We’re doing business,” he said. “We’ve got more room for our customers. We’ll be able to add more services in the future. We’ve got towing, tires, we’ve got it all except body work and we can probably get that done for you.”
The car repair shop is a more conventional use for the 8,600-square-foot building at 920 Seventh Ave. East than the ambitious proposal on the table last summer. White Duck Taco Shop owners Benjamin R. “Ben” Mixson and Laura Reuss had filed a rezoning application for a distillery, restaurant, club and hemp-growing lab on the half-acre site. The rezoning application hit hurdles when the owners could not find enough room for parking last summer, said Susan Frady, director of the city development assistance department. Then Mixson died unexpectedly at age 42 on Feb. 17 while on vacation in Florida.
“They were going to do barbecue and the distillery and so forth,” said Eric Goodman, a Southern Commercial Real Estate broker who handled the Autoworx lease along with Doug Trusilo of Trusilo Commercial LLC of Asheville. When the distillery-restaurant plan fell through, Mixson retained Goodman and Trusilo to lease the property.
“Autoworx signed a long-term lease and they’re very pleased to be in that location,” Goodman said. “They’re looking to expand their business.”
The property has increased in value as more businesses have moved to Seventh Avenue. The 80-year-old building and land changed hands for $125,000 in 2015 and sold last September to Seventh Avenue LLC for $372,500. It’s valued on the tax books at $392,100.
“We like it very much,” McMurray said. “There’s more shop space and we’re able to spread out more and expand some.” A grand opening will have to wait “until this virus thing passes.” Hours are 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. the first and third Saturdays.