Swannanoa, NC may be a case study for solutions to a lot of North Carolina and America’s challenges. It’s time to move on past the failed attempt to incorporate Swannanoa a few years ago. There are many opportunities for Swannanoa being a part of North Carolina’s economic recovery and our role as a sustainability solutions state.
Such an opportunity has presented itself with Mountain Housing Opportunities’ new development on the former Beacon Manufacturing site. Next, while it can’t be confirmed the 1000 acres of the former Chemtronics site is ready to be redeveloped right away, there are indicators the site can be redeveloped… following a world class environmental management solution.
- National Climate and Sustainability Strategy Center (NCSSC)
- Reform Chemtronics Superfund site as NCSSC + Private business sites – Note: While the outcome of this Superfund site remains in question, the EPA has issued a timeline that includes major developments over the next few years. A Community Advisory Group is collecting data and acting as the voice of the Buncombe County citizenry. Given other community development innovations in the Swannanoa Valley, the time is right to develop a community vision for issues like this Superfund site.
- Develop Tandy Electronics site for low income housing
- Restart Anvil as Circular Economy clothes recycling to recycled textiles plant (old clothes > new fabric plant)
- 30% of Old Beacon plant site becomes the Climate and Sustainability Exploratorium (CSE). and parkland. 580,799 square feet. The CSE includes a health component, an opportunity for the Health Adventure to return as it was or in a transformed mode mixed into the CSE programming.
- Finally turn on Charlotte-Asheville passenger rail. Downtown Swannanoa, CSE and NCSSC and wilderness hike become key stop.
- Passenger rail station + Downtown Swannanoa redevelopment
- Incorporation/Annex package for Swannanoa – Incentive to becoming a municipality: Home Rule innovations and participatory budgets.
+ Corresponding legislative changes: By giving Swannanoa new Home Rule powers this small community of 4,000 sets the stage for greater Home Rule in each of North Carolina’s municipalities.
These and all related issues are TBD/conceptual stage… but why not “Go See”, innovate a different future, and be curious!
More Swannanoa 2025 content coming soon!