Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Ask Matt ... what's coming to former McCarter Gallery space

Q. What is going into the former McCarter Gallery on Main Street diagonally across from Renzo’s Ristorante?

Not a boutique shop where our tourists will spend their money. The former art gallery at 451 N. Main Street will be home to Optimum. Yeah, the big cable guys who acquired Morris Broadband in March 2021. Optimum is negotiating a long-term lease for the 14,328-square-foot corner space including the second floor. Some tenants have already been notified that their lease is not being renewed.
“The new store will offer an interactive in-store experience where customers can explore Optimum’s connectivity offerings, including Optimum Internet, Optimum TV, and more,” said Ashley Morales, a manager with parent company Altice USA. “The North Main Street store is slated to open in early 2023,” she said. Based upon company storefronts in New York, the “and more” part of Optimum’s product offerings could be mobile phones, routers, modems, chargers and phone cases. It is assumed that the cable company’s current office on South Grove Street will close, which would require Optimum customers to find downtown parking.
Optimum wants to be a major player in the cable and phone industry. It operates now in 21 states and has growth areas in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas and North Carolina. The Hendersonville storefront is slated to be the third to open in our state after Greenville and New Bern down east.

Q. I see the former Wells Fargo bank building in the Laurel Park Shopping Center is being renovated. What is the story there?

The curb signs at the former bank are the only clue that SAGE Pet Hospital is coming but these guys are tight-lipped about the details. Founded in 1992 on the West Coast as Veterinary Surgical Associates, SAGE Veterinary Centers has since grown into one of the largest specialty practices in the nation. They’re open 24/7 for surgery. The veterinary chain lists 15 locations spread out in California, Alaska, Washington and Arizona but no SAGE Veterinary Centers east of the Rockies — until now. Most of their clinics offer cardiology, chemotherapy, radiation, dentistry, physical rehabilitation and imaging. Some even offer Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and brain surgery — for animals, of course. The bank renovation is far from complete but Google maps already identify SAGE as the occupant.
You may have observed a growing trend of national firms such as Aspen Dental and now SAGE that have opened up in town. It is rumored that ESP Associates, an engineering firm with 16 offices in nine states, will soon locate here. Also, a few local businesses are “going corporate.” Examples are McNeely’s (equipment) Rentals, MyEyeDr., and CORA Physical Therapy. More little fish swallowed by the big fish.

Q. Are they going to put up a stoplight at the intersection of U.S. 64 West and Cummings Road?

An NCDOT study confirmed that traffic into and out of the large golf course community warrants a stoplight, Lonnie Watkins, the DOT’s top engineer in Henderson County, has told the county Transportation Advisory Committee. Unfortunately for Cummings Cove residents, the agency has not yet found funding for the job, according to Watkins. So short answer, it’ll happen; when is unknown.

* * * * *

Send questions to