Carson Carlton chairs Hendersonville’s Seventh Avenue Advisory Committee, tasked with revitalizing the district.

“We can’t afford with this opportunity in front of us to go small. . . . We’ve got to look at big ideas. Some are going to be controversial, some are going to be outside the box.”

To figure what to do with the blighted region, the city hired consultants from the UNC School of Government, who recommended the city declare the area a revitalization zone, condemn 44 properties, and then sell them to people of government’s choosing to double tax revenues. James Mast, who operates a business across the street from Carlton’s, asked,

“Rather than spending millions of dollars to buy property, why don’t you spend $100,000 and hire some more cops?”

Some people are allegedly schitzy about the homeless population that hangs outside the mission, and so there are plans to set up a second mission on Seventh Avenue. Amenities would include feeding, showers, mailboxes, laundry, computer courses, interview coaching, and a place for kids to do homework.

Margaret Woods says the homeless would be among the first to help if there were a real crisis. She hopes the city does more in the name of revitalization than purchase hanging flower baskets and trash cans. She suggests setting up new restaurants and having gospel sings.