January 11, 2017 – Lewis Real Estate and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) announced plans for the relocation of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) to the Asheville Office Park at College Street and Town Mountain Road.
Previously the home to Shaw University and located adjacent to the soon-to-be built Element Hotel, the two-story building at 31 College Place will be gutted and re-designed over the next six months to create inviting, open space that reflects the region’s destination brand. ACVB will become the anchor tenant and a significant part of the ongoing revitalization of the eastern gateway to the central business district.
“The building will be a centerpiece of the office park and a critical element as we work to enhance the east corridor into downtown,” explained Martin Lewis, who is also investing in the up fit of the building and redesign of the office park.
This building gives us the opportunity to create space that exudes the Asheville destination brand and also can make an impact in an often overlooked corridor between downtown and the Tunnel Road commercial district, noted Gary Froeba, managing director of The Omni Grove Park Inn and BDTCA member and fiduciary task force chair.
BCTDA voted in December to give authority to Froeba to sign a lease following consultation with the fiduciary task force chair during the vetting process. The task force determined that leasing 7,750 square foot of space in the Asheville Office Park building with additional room for community and partner space would best meet its needs.
“The significant upgrades to this location will make it an ideal new home for the CVB and a hub for our tourism partners,” ACVB Executive Director Stephanie Pace Brown added. “We look forward to working in a space that is outfitted with collaborative and creative space in mind.”
The relocation is the result of an impending sale by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce of office space it owns at 36 Montford Ave.
Buncombe County welcomes 3.3 million overnight guests, providing a customer base that assists in the sustainability of businesses in the community and contributes to tax revenues. Annually, tourism generates a $2.6 billion economic impact to the region.
About Lewis Real Estate
Lewis Real Estate is involved with a full range of real estate activities throughout Western North Carolina. Its portfolio includes a mix of retail, industrial, office, and multi-use properties. The group has maintained a leadership role in the market, participating in some of the largest and most successful commercial ventures in the Asheville area.
About the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority
Established by legislation in 1984, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority is a quasi-governmental entity is charged with marketing Buncombe County as a tourism destination and administering its tourism product development fund. The board is made up of 11 members appointed by Asheville City Council, the Buncombe County Commission, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Funding comes from the room tax surcharge in addition to sales tax paid by guests staying overnight in paid accommodations.
About the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, soon to become a 501(c) 6 organization later this year, works with BCTDA to execute an extensive strategic marketing program that inspires visitation while showcasing more than 1,200 business that rely on visitors who annually spend $1.7 billion in Buncombe County, yielding an economic impact for more than $2.6 billion. The CVB also provides support on the Tourism Product Development Fund and connects partners to free marketing opportunities that appeal to visitors.