Breaking Ground in the Spring of 2018

The Railway Exchange is an exciting new addition coming to downtown Black Mountain in the spring of 2018. This adaptive reuse of The Ice House Building, an original historic structure, as well as the development of new retail and apartment space, will contribute to Black Mountain’s long-range vision of being an entrepreneur-friendly community.

The Railway Exchange

Railway Exchange, designed by local favorite, Hurt Architecture, will create a striking entry into the beautiful downtown area and welcome new visitors to come and enjoy all that Black Mountain has to offer!

The project has two major components:
1) The renovation of the existing original 1930’s Ice House building, which most recently housed the Ginkgo Tree shop. The historic Ice House building will remain intact, but will be renovated and added to in order to house a new restaurant, which will be available for lease The restaurant will have several distinct dining areas, including the inside dining room, the covered front porch, a courtyard dining space along Broadway, as well as a rooftop dining area.

2) A new multi-use building located between the Ice House and the Mountain Vista Properties real estate office up the hill. Each of the six buildings will be named after one of the local Seven Sisters Mountains.

In The News

Ground Has Been Broken

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (Black Mountain News) — Railway Exchange will be developed in two phases with the first being the restoration of the former Black Mountain Ice Co. building. “It will be a destination” says Jason Burke, the commercial realtor seeking the perfect tenant for this exciting new addition to Black Mountain. Read More…

About The Project

What are the components of the project?
The Railway Exchange (mixed-use) and Ice House Building renovation (adaptive re-use) Project has two major components. The first is a new multi-use building located between the Ice House and the Mountain Vista Properties real estate office up the hill. The second is the renovation and adaptive reuse of the existing original 1930’s Ice House building.

How will the historic Ice House structure be adapted for re-use?
The historic Ice House building will remain intact as far as its appearance from Broadway, but will be renovated and added to in the rear in order to house a new restaurant space (which will be leased). The restaurant with have several distinct dining areas, including the inside dining room, the covered front porch, a courtyard dining space along Broadway, as well as a rooftop dining area.

What will The Railway Exchange be used for?
The proposed new 3-story Railway Exchange will be multi-use, with six retail-office spaces on the ground level. The two levels above will each include six vacation-rental condominiums, for a total of 12 condos. Being located in a primary fire district, the building will incorporate an internal steel structure, and be sprinkled throughout in order to provide a very high level of safety for both its occupants and the neighboring buildings.

How many buildings will there be?
Aesthetically speaking, the design concept for the multi-use building is to take what is in reality one large structure, and visually “break it up” into smaller, individual storefronts that gradually step down the hill, just as the older buildings downtown were built. This will allow it to appear to be a series of smaller buildings that were constructed adjacent to one another over a period of time.

What will the storefronts look like?
The character and style of each of these individual storefronts will be differentiated from one another by the use of a variety of window shapes and sizes, differing shapes of front door recesses opening onto Broadway as were used in vintage downtown buildings. In order to achieve a high level of aesthetic blend into the existing historic context, the building forms, window shapes and patterns, and detailing and coloration of the brickwork will be carefully developed adaptations of those used in Black Mountain’s original downtown buildings.

What will the building signage look like?
On the brick-veneered south and north end walls of the building where they are exposed, the design concept is to paint signs on these brick walls in the style of (tasteful) early-20th century signage that was typically prevalent in historic downtown areas like Black Mountain’s. One such sign could identify the structure as the Railway Exchange, and others could advertise various businesses in Black Mountain, or could be an appropriately Black-Mountain-themed painted mural.

What will the back of the building look like?
The rear of the building will incorporate brick veneered walls. and include a painted exposed-steel balcony structure built in a style reminiscent of early 20th-century ironwork construction.

Does this project meet the Town of Black Mountain’s Zoning Ordinance?
The design of the project conforms with all applicable requirements of the Town of Black Mountain’s Zoning Ordinance. This includes the 40-foot building height limitation, as measured from the highest point of the adjacent roadway (Broadway) where it fronts the site.

The Black Mountain Fire Department has been closely coordinated with throughout the preliminary design phase of the project, and this will continue moving forward.  Spencer Elliott, the Black Mountain Fire Department Inspector and Safety Officer, has determined that the design of the building meets the requirements for fire apparatus and ambulance access.

How will this development impact parking downtown?
Being located in the Central Business District, the Zoning Ordinance does not require new off-street parking spaces to be provided for the project.  However, the project will include one new parking space per condominium unit, located at the rear of the new building.  This parking area will be accessed from the existing platted private alleyway that runs from Broadway, via a vaulted through-way between the first and second retail-office spaces.  This through-way will also include a sidewalk adjacent to the alley providing pedestrian access from Broadway to the rear of the building.

What is the environmental impact of this development?
The project will be energy-efficient, and will incorporate planted “living roofs” which will help manage storm water runoff. (The balance of the storm water runoff management system will be designed by a licensed civil engineer for review and approval by the Black Mountain Planning & Zoning Office.)

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