Tuesday, March 28, 2017

City development project for New Belgium completed at 300% over budget but come to the ribbon cutting!

The City has been working hard on the French Broad River West Greenway and Craven Street Improvements but here are some facts you probably didn’t know or forgot:
For New Belgium
  • The Greenway and the Craven Street Improvements were part of the bargaining deal (economic incentive package) in getting New Belgium to come to Asheville and is located on or near their property.  The City agreed to pay for and put in a partial greenway and make improvements to Craven Street (where New Belgium is located).  It’s part of the Memorandum of Understanding and Economic Development Agreement and allows for cash grants to New Belgium of at least $2.1 million.
From June 12, 2012 City Council Minutes:
“Public Infrastructure: In addition to the economic development incentive agreement, the City has agreed to make some improvements to the infrastructure in the area of New Belgium’s proposed Craven Street location, and on the property itself. The improvements include widening Craven Street and improving some of the intersections approaching the proposed location of the brewery, replacing and enlarging waterlines, and constructing and improving some storm-water facilities. The improvements also include construction of a greenway on New Belgium’s property.”
300% over original estimates
So far, this incentive package is 300% over the original estimate, costing taxpayers an additional $5 to $6 million.
  •  The greenway was supposed to cost around $400,000 but later it became $1 million.
  • The Craven Street Improvements portion was supposed to cost $1.9 million but in 2014, that was raised to $7.7 million.  Source: June 24, 2014 City Council Minutes (see below for documents)
Let’s hope other Asheville City development projects are not as over budget as this one has been.
Either way, the Asheville Riverfront Development Office sent out a notice of celebration – a ribbon cutting of this momentous event.  We only hope that New Belgium is providing free food and beer since the taxpayers have already paid for it:
March 28, 2017 Email Announcement from the Riverfront Development Office of City of Asheville:
“The French Broad River West Greenway and Craven Street Improvements projects are complete. Now that the weather is a bit warmer we are excited to celebrate this milestone with you.
Please join us on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 3:30pm for a self-guided greenway tour, followed by a ribbon cutting at 4:30pm. (See attached invitation and map).
The ribbon cutting will take place on the FBR West Pedestrian Bridge below the New Belgium Brewing Liquid Center. We hope your schedule will allow for you to attend. Please share this with whomever you think may also be interested.
We look forward to celebrating with you!”
(PS… Donations are probably accepted and needed)
Original Craven Street estimate:

Craven Final Project Cost

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