Published in the Weaverville Tribune and Asheville Tribune, February 2016
By Heather Berry
Woodfin – As construction continues for the new 55,000-square-foot AvL expansion building in Reynolds Village, parking headaches continue for customers, employees and business owners on the southern end of the plaza.
Construction, due to end in late spring of this year, has cut parking dramatically and caused some frustrations. “We are getting complaints because the construction is blocking off a lot of the parking,” said Brittany Bolle, member engagement manager for the Woodfin YMCA which is located in the building directly adjacent to the construction. According to Bolle, the end date for construction has varied, but she has been told the end is in sight sometime around March. “The date has gone back-andforth, but we believe it should end sometime in March,” she said.
“I used to be able to park closer, but now I park further away,” said Mary Beth Mackley, a YMCA patron and registered nurse who used to work in the YMCA building. “I try to come on off hours to avoid problems. It’s changed in the last year. I used to sail up here when it was just the Y and loved that this wasn’t as crowded as the Y downtown.”
Mackley said the construction was a catch-22 in the sense the growth is a good thing, but the temporary headaches are a struggle. “Yeah, parking has been more difficult, but there have been more buildings open. It’s sad for me to see the open space lost, but it looks really pretty in Reynolds Village,” she added.
Like Mackley, many patrons and business owners understand the frustration is temporary and is a symptom of growth within Reynolds Village. Bolle acknowledges an increase with YMCA membership in January may have contributed to the parking headaches, but said the problem mainly exists during daytime hours when so many businesses are competing for limited parking spaces.
“I think it’s a combination of all the businesses,” said Bolle. “We have a lot of people come in at night and parking isn’t an issue then, because all of the other offices are closed. It’s the combination of the Y, along with the other offices making it difficult to find parking during the day while construction continues,” she said. Bolle added, however, the YMCA is excited about the growth in Reynolds Village and she understands the parking problem is a symptom of this expansion. “I want to make sure that it is understood that the Y does support the expansion of AvL,” Bolle added in a statement.
“We understand we are struggling with parking but we are also excited for what the AvL expansion is going to bring to Reynolds Village.” AvL Technologies was formed in 1994 and designs and produces satellite antenna systems.
The company has its headquarters in Asheville within the Reynolds Village development on North Merrimon. In the summer of 2015, the company announced plans to create the AvL Technologies Park which will consist of a new 55,000-square-foot building, directly across the from the existing AvL building. The new building will house AvL offices and space for production, in addition to offering rental space for Asheville-based technology startup companies.
Officials from AvL were contacted with questions about the parking and construction, but calls and emails were unreturned.