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Fire Destroys Affordable Housing Construction Site Near Downtown Asheville


An early morning fire Friday destroyed an affordable housing complex that was under construction on the edge of downtown Asheville.  No injuries were reported.

The Asheville Fire Department says the fire is 'suspicious in nature' and is being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies.  It started around 1:30 Friday morning at the three-story complex at 360 Hilliard Avenue.  Just over a year ago, city council voted to sell the land to a developer to build an 86-unit mixed income residential apartment complex, with 34 of those to affordable housing units.  

In addition to the damage at the construction site, several cars, tennis courts and windscreens at the adjacent Aston Park Tennis Center also sustained damage.  The center is closed until further notice.

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.