ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The University if North Carolina at Asheville now owns 10 acres of prime undeveloped land adjacent to the school, thanks to a donation from a local family.
The university paid $3 million for the land, which was valued at $6 million, with the Rhoades family waiving the remainder of the purchase price.
The property, which had been owned by the W.T. Weaver Family and more recently was owned by the Verne Rhoades family, remained undeveloped for three generations despite its highly profitable location, the university says.
“For the past 20 years, we’ve had a strong interest in the property going to UNC-Asheville because our feelings about conservation and community responsibility are values shared by the University,” Sally Rhoades says in a statement.
Though the university has no definite plans for the land, it has pledged to preserve the trees and natural life in and around the property.
One plan under consideration involves the creation of a “live-learn” eco-village on the property showcasing minimal-impact development.
Verne Rhoades Sr., was a forester who played an key role in the creation of Pisgah National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His family has continued his tradition of land preservation and donation.