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Council OKs study for 7th Avenue development

The Hendersonville City Council authorized a consultant affiliated with UNC at Chapel Hill to study the Seventh Avenue area and devise a strategy for redevelopment of the commercial and retail strip.

The council agreed to the work by Development Finance Initiative, which is based at the UNC School of Government.
Development Finance Initiative program director Will Lambe told the council that the consultants would conduct a four-month-long study of the properties and current uses and explore the possibilities of redevelopment.
Councilman Steve Caraker endorsed the study. The council's liaison to the Historic Seventh Avenue District, Caraker said the property owners, volunteers and officers of the HSAD have done
"We have been throwing money at infrastructure for the six years I've been on the council but I believe we're at an impasse," he said.
City Manager John Connet said HSAD has set aside $10,000 for the consultant study but Caraker. The council agreed to appropriate $14,000 to cover the balance. The director of the Development Finance Initiative is Michael Lemanski, who led the redevelopment of 45 distressed properties as part of urban renewal in downtown Durham. Lemanski has the contacts and experience to help pitch the Seventh Avenue site to private developers willing to take on development projects through tax increment financing or other means.
The consultant work is designed to:


  • Establish strategic direction and priorities of redevelopment within the district.
  • Develop financing and incentives options to encourage private investment in the district.
  • Evaulate the cost and benefits associated with financing tools/incentives including possible expansion of the Historic Seventh Avenue District.