Asheville’s skyline could change, and the media is trying to get folks to think they should care. The Ellington, like all large buildings downtown, is anticipated to propel Asheville into the Twenty-First Century, even though it is supposed to simulate architecture from the 1920s.

Some say it will be an improvement. Currently, one of the more noticeable buildings downtown is the jail. The largest structure is the BB&T Building, oft criticized for the lack of articulation in its façade. Bland buildings conserve natural resources by keeping unnecessary concrete, steel, and wood in the ground. They are also less energy-intensive to heat – and clean. It could also be argued that they are more aerodynamic to afford more complete and rapid air exchanges for better downtown air quality.

There are concerns about traffic, but the city traffic engineers have not had a problem with a single project in the past four years. Adding a Wal-Mart to the end of the maelstrom in front of the Asheville Mall was not even gauged to be a problem. The building will afford insufficient parking by today’s standards in an attempt to get people out of their cars and walking or bicycling.

In the complete greenwash spelled out for council, the developers told of creating a Green Team of all concerned partners to come up with goals and strategies for recycling. Staff members will be trained to recycle, and initiatives will run the gamut from providing recycling bins for soda cans to fixing dripping faucets.

The Ellington will be an upscale hotel and condominium complex. In order to pass the scrutiny of council members bent on redistributing the wealth, a community fund was established, whereby 1.25% of first-time sales revenue will be donated toward local affordable housing projects. 0.5% of resale proceeds collected before 2080 will also go into the fund.

It is feared that city council will spend six hours tonight pooh-poohing the archaic concept of property rights while helping the architects learn their trade.