Living in downtown Asheville is its own adventure. It’s ideal for fun-loving people who love food, the arts, music, and being part of a thriving community. For those downsizing or retiring to Asheville, condos are a great choice. They offer low-maintenance living close to all your favorite activities. (Feature photo: Arras Residences)
Looking back in time, the 1929 stock market crash affected Asheville severely with immense debt. (Read more about Asheville's History here) However, the constraints that kept Asheville officials from updating buildings for over 50 years has made the downtown area rich with architectural treasures. Original Art Deco buildings, brick structures with original advertising murals, and large houses were preserved and restored and help make Asheville a desirable location. Read more on Asheville's Architecture.
When considering property in downtown Asheville, you'll search the area within the 28801 zip code. You can walk to the center of town, visit the Asheville Art Museum at Pack Square, or head to the Grove Arcade easily. If you’ve gone through a tunnel or over a river, you’re no longer downtown. Read more on Asheville Neighborhoods and Surrounding Towns.
To live in your ideal condo downtown, you may have to be patient. Some of the more historic buildings have waitlists that span years, but they’re worth it. Check out a more modern condominium complex for more readily available property. Read on for downtown Asheville’s most iconic condo properties and the details about each.
The Aston is a four-story 1928 brick beauty at the corner of Aston and Church Streets with 14 residential condos. Just a block from Patton Avenue, The Aston is incredibly convenient to shops, restaurants, and galleries. The large trees and three nearby churches make the area a quiet refuge. Fans of Art Deco will love the original windows, fireplaces, and structural details. The two-bedroom, two-bath living spaces range from 1,300-2,300 sqft. The rooftop terrace with sunset views and the carefully landscaped private park help to make this an incredibly coveted living space.
Sawyer Motor Building
The Sawyer Motor Building dates back to 1900 in Asheville's South Slope, located on Coxe and Hilliard Avenues. It served as a glamorous automobile showroom until the Great Depression, and the huge windows and angled front make it a standout to this day. Developers converted the building into 20 condominium units in 2001 with historic heart of pine floors, open floor plans, glass block accents, and incredible mountain views from the units and the rooftop terrace. Pay close attention to the market to see if one of the 760 square foot one-bedroom units or 1,450 sqft two-bedroom, two-bathroom spaces become available so you can own a piece of Asheville history. One two-bedroom is for sale in 2020 for $765,000.
When it comes to standout Art Deco properties, the S&W Building is perhaps Asheville’s finest. Designed by architect Douglas Ellington and built in 1929, this Patton Avenue property is listed on national, state, and local historic registers. Its stunning artistic details make the 10 residential units within very desirable, as they are also approved for short-term rental (check out the Ellington Loft on VRBO). The units range from 993 sqft studios to 1,588 sqft penthouses. For investment or to live in a local landmark, one buyer paid $850,000 for a penthouse in 2018.
The Kress Building
Kress Building is another Asheville landmark built in 1928. Located at the corner of Lexington and Patton, the neoclassical style is eye-catching and unique. In 2002, developers converted the Kress building into 21 residential units with gallery and retail space at the street level. Residents occupy spaces from 600 square foot studios up to 1,400 square foot two-bedroom units, some with balconies. All spaces include refurbished hardwood floors, high ceilings, and access to a rooftop terrace and exercise room. No units are currently for sale, but pop up on the market at prices up to $650,000.
Even locals may not recognize the name Oxford Place, but this building has been a fixture on Biltmore Avenue since 1891. It has had many iterations throughout the years, first as the Oxford Hotel, then as a furniture store and a plumbing store. Developers restored it to condos in 2006, giving each unit a unique style and retaining the historical details. Residents enjoy secure access, garage parking, and a prime downtown location above an art gallery. The 18 one, two, and three-bedroom units vary in size from 826-2,076 sqft. In 2019, a two-bedroom Oxford Place unit sold for $460,300.
12 South Lexington
12 South Lexington is a modern mixed-use complex that is mostly residential and includes a valuable downtown parking garage for residents. The building has a brick and stucco exterior and the 43 high-ceilinged residential units feature bamboo floors, balconies for most units, and European fixtures. The condos here have a wide range of sizes from 626 sqft studios to 2,800 sqft penthouse spaces. One top-floor three-bedroom, two-bath penthouse sold in 2017 for $1.66 million, while a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit sold in 2019 for $520,000. With High Climate Tea Company occupying the commercial space at street level and Pack Square just steps away, this building sets a luxury standard for downtown living.
Arras Private Residences
One of downtown Asheville’s newest condo options is the Arras Private Residences. Formerly known as the BB&T building, hoteliers revamped the 19-story building to house a beautiful hotel, a restaurant and bar, and private residences with an Art Deco style. The 54 condos, ten of which are reserved for rentals, are impeccably decorated with high-end fixtures and local art. Their views of downtown and the mountains are unfettered - from the highest building in Asheville, there’s no competition! The one and two-bedroom condos range in size from 737-2,300 square feet, and although none are currently on the market, they sold in 2019 at prices from $600,000-$1.7 million.
View of downtown Asheville from Arras Private Residences
21 Battery Park
21 Battery has been in Asheville since 2005, offering 45 condominium units in the heart of downtown Asheville. You’ll be a block from the Grove Arcade, Wall Street, Pritchard Park, The Basilica, and a number of shops and restaurants. The living spaces are equipped with private balconies, gas fireplaces, and all the high-end fixtures you could want. With incredible views of the mountains and city skyline, on-site parking, and a club room, these residences are some of Asheville’s finest. Three two-bedroom condos here are on the market in 2020, ranging from $890,000-$1.85 million.
Built in 2006, Lexington Station bridges downtown with the up-and-coming South Slope district. The 1.7-acre mixed-use development houses 66 residential units in its three large buildings. It also boasts 25,000 square feet of commercial space that houses a variety of businesses from Storm Rhum Bar to Mountain BizWorks. With enclosed parking and landscaped plazas, this development offers great amenities for downtown living. Residential units have hardwood floors, granite countertops, and balconies. With 816 to 2,000 square feet one and two-bedroom units, this complex is more attainable than others. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is for sale in 2020 for $400,000.
60 North Market Street
The condos at 60 North Market are in a great location downtown next to the Thomas Wolfe Hose, close to the weekly open-air farmers market as well as many businesses and restaurants and the I-240 on-ramp. Floor-to-ceiling windows are a striking feature of this complex, completed in 2009. These condos come in many sizes and configurations, with one-bedroom, one-bedroom with study, two and three-bedroom options. All units have terraces, granite countertops, and access to an exclusive rooftop clubhouse. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit is for sale in 2020 for $710,000.
61 Market Street offers expansive views of downtown Asheville and surrounding mountains
As you head out of downtown toward the River Arts District, look for the Clingman Lofts. Built-in 2008 to the eco-friendly standards of WNC Healthy Build, these units are a lower-priced option for Asheville residents. The condos have hardwood floors, balconies, and ceramic-tiled bathrooms, and are located close to tennis courts and the hundreds of art studios and galleries in the RAD. These best-of-both-worlds units range from 885-1,020 sqft for one and two-bedroom floorplans. You’ll find a one-bedroom on the 2020 market in this colorful complex for $215,000.
55 South Market Street
The brand-new 55 South Market condos are a luxurious option at a range of prices. With 70 units walking distance from Pack Square and the courthouse, this complex is a great investment property or downtown home base. Developers designed these units with an eye to the future and made them eco-friendly with smart technology like USB charging ports built-in. They also feature quartz countertops, energy star appliances, an indoor/outdoor community center, and more. Modern living in this complex comes in a range of sizes from 760 square foot one-bedroom units to 1,300+ sqft two-bedroom units and a variety of floor plans. A one-bedroom unit with 826 sqft is on the market in 2020 for $435,000.
Photo: 55 South Market Street Condos
Bauhaus South Slope Condos
Bauhaus South Slope is a new build adjacent to McCormick Field, home of the Asheville Tourists baseball team. It’s close to Mission Hospital as well as South Slope breweries and restaurants. This smaller complex has 17 units, which uniquely feature split-level living. The open floor plans, equipped chef’s kitchens, and private rooftop patios make this a wonderful choice for families. Some units are still under construction into late spring of 2020. A 1,882 sqft three-bedroom three-bath is on the market for $710,000.
Photo: Bauhaus South Slope Condos
As you can see, the range of options for condos in downtown Asheville is as varied as its residents. From funky historic flats to soaring industrial lofts, modern penthouses, and more, it’s not hard to find a space that speaks to you. As Asheville grows, so do the options, and there are many here to envision yourself in.
Tamsen Todisco is a freelance writer and graduate of A-B Tech and UNC Asheville. She's lived in Asheville since 2008 and has been writing about Asheville Real Estate for Asheville Real Estate News since 2019. She's also produced content for the Asheville coworking and hospitality industries.