5 Great Neighborhoods in Asheville
Flagship neighborhood: Lakeview Park
While many different areas of Asheville have gone through cycles of growth, decline and then re-growth, North Asheville has been resilient. While South Asheville, for example, looks dramatically different than it did several years ago by its explosion in growth, North Asheville retains the grace and style and an earlier age. The focal point of the Lakeview Park community is Beaver Lake, a small man-made lake created in the 1920s. Lakeview Park residents are the collective owners of the lake and surrounding land. Monthly dues from residents, managed through the Lake View Park Commission, finance the maintenance of the lake and park. The City of Asheville does not own or manage Beaver Lake.
Famed landscape architect John Nolen created the Lakeview Park neighborhood in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmstead.
The neighbors: Young families headed up by white-collar dads and PTO moms, along with a growing set of retirees.
An inspiring mixture of beautifully restored homes, bed and breakfast inns, and a history that’s tied to Asheville’s pre-Depression heyday. At the turn of the century, Montford was one of Asheville’s premiere neighborhoods, home to the doctors, lawyers, and businessmen of the day. Most of the homes were built between 1890 and 1920, with famed Biltmore House architect Richard Sharp Smith producing many of the designs. The style of homes varies from Victorian, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts to Neoclassical, Colonial Revival and castle-like motifs. After the Great Depression, the neighborhood fell into neglect, but in the past couple of decades many people have bought and restored homes. Quite a few of the structures now operate as bed and breakfast inns. It’s an especially sought after neighborhood because it is so close to Downtown, and with the wide sidewalks, it’s easy to walk into town for work or entertainment. Montford was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and it was designated a local historic district in 1981.
The neighbors: An eclectic mix of artists, bohemian hippies, young liberal professionals, hip do-it-yourselfers and retirees.
Town of Biltmore Forest
This premiere community adjacent to George Vanderbilt’s castle was developed in 1920s for people who weren’t as rich as Vanderbilts to build McMansions. This community, which doesn’t have any gates or guard houses as some of its current day competitors in the luxury housing market, was planned by C.D. Beadle who had been associated with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted of Boston. Olmsted, known as the Father of Landscape Architecture, played a significant part in development of Biltmore Estate.
The Town of Biltmore Forest was incorporated in 1923. In March 1990, the U.S. Department of the Interior determined it eligible as a Historic District.
The neighbors: Traditional old money neighborhood. The 2000 census lists the population at 1,440 with the racial makeup of the town coming in at 99.24% white. Home to doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and celebrities (actress Andie MacDowell has a home here).
Also Consider: Biltmore Park
Located further south in an area that has seen explosive growth in the past decade. Biltmore Park offers newer construction ranging from mansions to homes that are more affordable. Urban village setting with close proximity to schools, restaurants, shops, theatres and fitness centers.
Flagship neighborhood: Kenilworth
Historic community that’s within a 20-minute walk of downtown Asheville. There are approximately 800 residents in this community, which features an interesting mix of housing styles and a 19-acre lake.
The neighbors: Young professionals, young families, retirees.
Haw Creek is more rural. Older homes mixed with new construction drawing a wide range of white collar workers, blue collar workers, growing families, multi-generational families.
Oakley offer smaller brick ranchers and cottages that are perfect for do-it-yourselfers who want a bargain to renovate. The surrounding neighborhood, though, is filled more with the big box stores and close proximity to the Asheville Mall. Oakley is home to young families, bargain hunters, and retirees.
City of Asheville
With beautiful Art Deco architecture, a vibrant nightlife and lots of eateries, Asheville’s downtown is growing in popularity as a place to live, especially with the emergence of new condos. Older buildings that were built as department stores or office space have been turned into luxury condos. The Grove Arcade, which was taken over by the Federal Government during World War II, and then housed offices of the National Climatic Center, is one example of a building seeing new growth. The bottom is once again used as a mall for stores, cafes and markets. The upper floors house condo residents.
With the renaissance of Asheville well underway, downtown residents enjoy the convenience of walking to great restaurants, live music, special events, and shopping. Prices for downtown condos generally start around $300,000 and go past a million dollars.
The neighbors: Trend-setting baby boomers, young professionals, retirees.
Flagship Address: Haywood Road
This area is evolving organically as a hip, trendy enclave for the young granola-munching crowd as well as beginning families in search of affordable fixer-uppers. Haywood Road, which serves as West Asheville’s main drag, features a hodgepodge of trendy cafes and funky stores and shops housed in older buildings that have been renovated.
This side of town was traditionally more affordable than other areas, but that’s changing. Modest houses, cottages and bungalows have been snapped up by alternative-lifestyle groupies, young families and investors. The barbershops, furniture stores and family owned businesses are being replaced with cafes and bakeries are serving up organic fare, holistic practitioners and a range of eclectic stores.
The neighbors: Dreadlock-coifed free spirits, service-industry employees, blue-collar families, young families looking for affordable housing, and roll-up-your-sleeves renovators.
Also Consider: Crest Mountain
Gated community west of downtown features luxury and panoramic views of the mountains. Prices of condos here are in the $700,000 to $900,000 range. Baby Boomers have their second homes here, as do young professionals who live in Asheville year round.