By Benjamin Cohn
Weaverville – On Dula Springs Road, inside the building that previously housed Tri-City Tire & Alignment, is the new sleek, modern, headquarters of local firm Yurko Design and Architecture, operated by partners John Yurko and Becky Walter. The transformation of the building is not only apparent on the inside but from the outside too.
According to the business’s website, the firm. “strive[s] to create architecture that is simple, beautiful and economical [in] both form and function.” Walter and Yurko sat down with the Tribune to discuss their current business and lofty goals for the future of Weaverville.
Yurko told the Tribune that he’s worked and lived in town for nearly three decades, since 1990. “This is our new location,” he said. “We took an old building and did something with it.” According to Walter, wanting to put down roots and recommit to the town were the primary reasons for choosing Weaverville to host the business.
“[We wanted to] bring business to Weaverville, to work [in Weaverville], [because] our kids are all … here. The ability to be able to work close to home, and that [home] being Weaverville, is key for me,” she said.
Yurko described an incident about ten years ago when he “organized a group of people who got together” in opposition to Bi-Lo’s proposal for a large store in downtown Weaverville.
“Bi-Lo wanted to build a store right downtown at the corner of Weaver Boulevard and Main Street,” he said. “Right there on the corner, Bi-Lo wanted to build a 60,000 square foot store. It [would have been] way out of place.”
The supermarket chain was eventually forced to relocate.
Yurko explained that he’s “been an advocate of maintaining the kind of small-town quality of life since I’ve lived here. I’ve practiced here, I’ve lived here, raised kids here.
“Now I’m reinvesting considerably in this corner and in the fact that Weaverville is becoming a destination, like Black Mountain.”
The architecture firm hopes to model an improved Weaverville in the style of Black Mountain. Walter imagines Weaverville as “…more than just a bedroom community for Asheville. It’s a viable small town, a walkable small town.”
Yurko told the Tribune that Weaverville’s growth and desirability are already trending in the right direction. He described the town’s new businesses as proof of concept for a younger, more profitable Weaverville.
“This part of town will soon be part of the walkability of Main Street because of all that’s going on between here and Main Street, all the businesses that are coming in,” he said. “What’s going on in Weaverville Commons, all these apartments and things that are getting built around here.
“We feel like this intersection right here [3-way intersection at Main Street, Dula Springs Road, Monticello Road] is so key … because the interstate’s right here. If there was cool stuff on this corner it would pull people off the interstate and come to Weaverville, just like what happens in Black Mountain.”
The firm’s owner continued his praise of Black Mountain, saying that “they’ve done such a good job at marketing themselves as more than just a place to pull off and get some fast food on your way through town, as a place to hang out and see some of the stuff that’s [there].
“The artist community, the galleries and the food [in Weaverville] has … really stepped up. You can see that happening. Of course, it takes time, but you can certainly see how downtown is migrating this way [towards I-26],” Yurko explained.
Walter reiterated the firm’s selling points that it’s local and approachable.
“The thing that we want to offer is that we’re here, we love this place, we’re investing in this place and we have a skillset and a vision for quality here in Weaverville.
“People that want that for Weaverville, too, should rest assured [knowing] that there’s a place that’s visible, right here [off Main Street].”