Mel Chin’s Wake – On View in the South Slope through September 7

Wake, Mel Chin’s giant animatronic sculpture, installed in New York City’s Times Square last summer, will be on view in Asheville from March 15 to September 7 at 44 Collier Avenue. Chin, a WNC based conceptual artist, was named a MacArthur Fellow in September 2019.

Ellington Realty Group is proud to be a sponsor of the event, and to have donated the site for the installation.

Wake was commissioned as part of Mel Chin: All Over the Place, a multi-site survey of his works from across many decades that took place in several New York City locations. A collaborative group, led by UNC Asheville’s Steam Studio and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, formed to plan and raise funds for the sculpture to be seen locally.

Wake – 60 feet long, 34 feet wide and 24 feet high, conceived and designed by the artist – was engineered, sculpted and fabricated by an interdisciplinary team of UNC Asheville students, faculty, staff and community artists led by Chin. Wake is interactive and features decks and places to sit and contemplate.

Wake evokes the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal. The structure is linked with a carved, 21-foot-tall animatronic sculpture, accurately derived from a figurehead of the opera star Jenny Lind that was once mounted on the 19th century clipper ship, USS Nightingale. Jenny Lind moves subtly as she breathes and scans the sky.

“She may be looking at what cannot be seen as she moves away from the wreckage of her past,” explained Chin. “It’s about relationships we have to history. It’s almost an obligation to understand our relationships with our environment now and an opportunity to project what things could be like far into the future if we’re not engaged.”


The artwork is not only a comment on climate change, it calls forth a history that includes ships, like the USS Nightingale and many other vessels, used to move tea, guns and slaves that augmented the nation’s burgeoning economy. “These expanding past economies serve as prologue and perhaps a warning to our current environmental dilemma,” said Chin.

“Wake is a powerful comment on how the tides of history have shaped many communities, including Asheville,” said Steph Dahl, who manages the City of Asheville’s Public Art Program.  “The piece asks us to acknowledge and discuss a long and complicated past, one that has left us operating in a sea of racial inequities and environmental crises.  Wake’s temporary presence in an empty lot where the history and future of the Southside and South Slope meet is part of its power, and its impermanent nature underscores some of the tough questions we need to address together. 

“Jenny Lind was the Beyoncé or Adele of her time,” said Chin. “She was brought by P.T. Barnum to tour America as the Swedish Nightingale. Barnum initiated American mass marketing and the world still lives in the real wake of this marketing enterprise. American commercialism provided profound advancement and wealth, but it came with real costs including colonialism, enslavement and rapid expansion. Jenny Lind, an abolitionist herself, had nothing to do with the USS Nightingale, but as its figurehead, she is an integral part.  You can’t escape the web you’re in whether you are in New York City or Western North Carolina.”

Since the late 90’s Chin has lived and worked in Egypt Township, outside of Burnsville in Yancey County, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited by major art centers nationally and globally. He is described in his MacArthur entry as “a category-defying artist whose practice calls attention to complex social and environmental issues. In an expansive body of work ranging from collages, sculptural objects, animated films and video games to large-scale, collaboratively produced public installations, Chin demonstrates a unique ability to engage people from diverse backgrounds and to utilize unexpected materials and places.”

Visitors can experience Wake daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 44 Collier Avenue. For more details about the piece and public programming, visit ashevillearts.com.

Read More

F
T
M

Experiences are becoming essential for repeat customers

As written in a Forbes article published today, Seven Customer Experience Strategies To Make Multifamily Properties Profitable, “By adding experience design to the equation, brick-and-mortar retailers are creating customer interactions that will make lasting impressions, turn their shops into destinations and win repeat business.”

We see this happening here locally, as it’s not enough to offer a product, or even just food and beer anymore to get people to become repeat customers. And as published in the Asheville Citizen-Times today in Not just beer: Local breweries add trails, ax-throwing and other entertainment options, Highland Brewing, coming soon with a taproom in the S & W Market downtown, is also adding miles of trails on their east Asheville property. This will help give that experience that consumers are looking for, and keep them coming back for more. We see it as only a positive thing, helping to create fuller, lasting connections in communities and making commerce not just about the product, What experiences do you look for when visiting a store, a restaurant or a brewery? What do you want to see that Asheville doesn’t yet have?

Read More

F
T
M

Asheville Named Yelp's Top Food Destination for 2020

Asheville is no strange to top ten lists, but this one is a biggie! We beat out Charleston, Portland and New Orleans among other great cities to be the top food destination. French Broad Chocolate Lounge, the incredibly delicious chocolate factory here, was named as the top place to eat when in the top food city.

As developers of the S & W Market, the new food hall and tap room scheduled to open in June, we are incredibly excited to be a part of this hyped-up foodie town. There is no slow-down in sight of the number of people who are drawn to this town, with food being one of the first reasons to visit.

For more, read:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/entertainment/dining/2020/01/28/yelps-top-food-destination-and-asheville-food-fan-award-winners/4596954002/

Read More

F
T
M

Bank of America Building on Patton to Become Parisian Hotel

We are thrilled about the recent announcement that plans have been approved for the Parisian Hotel to move forward. This vacant building has been an eyesore for years, and this revised plan with courtyard in adjacent to the sidewalk and arches on the exterior will completely transform the property. When the S & W reopens as the S & W Market, a food hall and taproom for Highland Brewing Co., and the Parisian Hotel is finished and open for business, this corridor is going to have a completely different look and feel, and we couldn’t be happier about it!

For more, read the recent article from the Asheville Citizen-Times:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/01/10/parisian-hotel-plan-approved-asheville-downtown-commission/4425022002/

Read More

F
T
M

Proud to Announce the Historic S & W Building to Open as a Food and Beverage Hall

Asheville’s iconic S&W Building will become a food hall focused on the best of local food and beer when it opens as The S&W Market. Ellington Realty Group project is revitalizing the building, located at 56 Patton Avenue, which will become home to a roster of top local restaurants curated by culinary consultant Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani Restaurant Group.

The S&W Market will also welcome Highland Brewing Company back to downtown, where their story began 25 years ago. Asheville’s original craft brewery will anchor the two-story space and feature a first-floor bar area and a mezzanine-level bar, tasting room and event space. Highland’s founder, Oscar Wong, said, “Highland was part of the rebirth of downtown Asheville back in the 90s along with many others – to return downtown and be part of the rebirth of this iconic building is nothing short of amazing.”

Upon entering the building, guests will be greeted with a sampling of flavorful dining options from four Asheville-based food stalls hand-selected for their crave-worthy offerings and ties to the city along with Highland Brewing’s main level bar.

On the mezzanine, an expanded lineup of Highland’s small-batch, sour, and barrel-aged beer offerings will be featured. The space will have seating for guests to enjoy a pint with their food and a view of the activity below or the city outside.

“I’ve never had an interest in opening a second taproom,” said Highland’s second-generation Family-Owner and President, Leah Wong Ashburn. “But this confluence was powerful. We are engaged in revitalizing a piece of Asheville’s history and working with an incredibly talented group of Asheville entrepreneurs who all believe in authenticity, family, and having fun with this project.”

The feeling is mutual. The S&W was purchased in 2017 by brothers Douglas and Kenneth Ellington, who are the great-nephews of the building’s noted architect Douglas Ellington.

“There is a great deal of meaning for us in this particular project,” says Douglas Ellington. “We’re honored to work alongside Meherwan and the wonderful team at Highland Brewing to create a welcoming space that will enhance our downtown community and revitalize a beautiful historic building that has provided fond memories for many in Asheville.”

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the revived S&W will serve as an homage to the property’s storied past, while also honoring its place within the Asheville community’s future. The S&W Building is a celebrated staple among the city’s buzzing downtown for its’ striking Art Deco style and intricate architectural details.

Much of the time-honored space will remain unchanged, including its familiar facade of wide arched windows and terra cotta panels, accented with richly colored green and blue tiles. A revamped interior will seek to evoke the same
energy of the bustling dining destination that many enjoyed growing up in Asheville and ample sidewalk seating will adorn the building’s front.

“With the culinary mecca that Asheville has become, we feel that a food hall focused on the best of local food and beer in the center of downtown will be a huge hit with both locals and out-of-town visitors,” says Burns Aldridge, managing broker of Ellington Realty Group. “Food halls have become incredibly popular in the past few years as the consumer demand for authentic healthier yet casual food options has grown. The S&W Market will offer counter service with delicious local food, just as the building was originally intended.”

Diana Bellgowan, Architect is leading the project with J & N Construction as contractor. Restaurateurs signed onto the project will be announced at a later date. For more information, call Ellington Realty Group at 828-575-1500.

Read More

F
T
M

New State Park in Buncombe County

A first for Buncombe County – a new state park, which will be called Pisgah View State Park. The land has been owned by the Cogburn family since the 1700s, and has been operated as Pisgah View Ranch since the 1940s.

For lands to be considered for becoming a North Carolina state park, they must have “extraordinary natural resources representative of North Carolina’s rare or pristine ecosystems, have potential for recreation including facilities and access necessary to support it, and have sufficient opportunities for land acquisition,” said Katie Hall, spokeswoman for N.C. State Parks.

 

For more, go to: https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2019/07/20/pisgah-view-state-park-now-official-after-gov-cooper-signs-bill-into-law/1785365001/

 

 

Read More

F
T
M

Ponce City Market a Literal and Visual Feast

Ellington Realty Group had the opportunity to visit Ponce City Market in Atlanta yesterday, and how glad we are that we did. This project, in a former old massive Sears & Roebuck building, is a treat to discover. The first floor houses an incredible food hall, with a mix of restaurants and styles. Of course we ate at Chai Pani Group’s Botiwalla which did not disappoint. The upper floors are retail, with a very thoughtful mix in place of tenants, and residences. This place has a great feel to it and is worth the trip.

Read More

F
T
M

Invest Around theThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Here’s a great insider tip! Now is the time to invest in commercial real estate within 60 miles of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Visitors spent $953 million in the 60 mile radius around the park last year.

Contact us to find out more about income-producing properties in that vicinity.

https://wlos.com/news/local/smokies-national-park-953m-in-2018-local-visitor-spending

Read More

F
T
M