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Honoring The Block & Celebrating Eagle Market Place

Nov 20, 2023 | News

Photography by Red Angle Photography

Mountain Housing Opportunities’ Eagle Market Place opened its doors in 2018 and is now home to over a dozen small businesses, 98% of which are owned by women and BIPOC entrepreneurs. It is also home to 62 affordable apartments, providing thoughtfully designed and centrally located homes for nearly 100 residents. Eagle Market Place represents a long-term collaboration between MHO and Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation (EMSDC) that anchors Black culture and drives economic development in the center of Asheville’s historic Black business district, known as The Block. 

MHO recently unveiled a new installation in the central lobby at Eagle Market Place honoring those who sponsored apartments during the project’s construction phase. The newly installed honor wall features supporters who made contributions as sponsors for each of the building’s 62 apartments. Each of the apartments are named for historic Black entrepreneurs and businesses of The Block. The honor wall also features a quote from Matthew Bacoate, Jr., former MHO Board Member and veteran leader of Asheville’s business, civic, and cultural sectors.

Eagle Market Place’s Community Room is named for Terry Bellamy, the first African-American Mayor elected in the City of Asheville. Bellamy played a critical role in fostering the partnership and collaboration between MHO and EMSDC. The Mayor Bellamy Community Room offers a dynamic gathering space for residents and business partners in and around The Block. An original soda fountain from the Del Cardo building stands in the Bellamy room, a material connection between the past, present, and future of the neighborhood.

MHO & EMSDC are partnering with Jefferson Ellison of JD Ellison & Company to grow community engagement and other key capacities for stakeholders of The Block. Ellison is an Asheville native who grew up in his family’s Ritz Café, a storied Block eatery. He is the founder and principal of a creative agency whose goal is to deliver human-centered storytelling, branding, and communications to businesses across the region. He is passionate about the “now and the next” of The Block and is dedicated to the ongoing revitalization of this historic corner of downtown Asheville as a flourishing business, social, and cultural hub. Jefferson is helping to steward the voices and visions of Asheville’s BIPOC community in the reimagining of Asheville’s Pack Square, its synergy with The Block, and how these places can equitably serve a diverse array of locals, visitors, artists, and entrepreneurs.

“As a local citizen and as a business owner, I continue to feel that capitalism can be more compassionate…that there are different ways of getting things done and that the world would be a better place if we all worked together, from each according to their ability and to each according to their need,” Ellison said. “I’m proud to be working with MHO to offer marketing support to The Block and the businesses that call it home, and I look forward to telling stories that anchor us in our legacy and champion a bright and equitable future.”

Special thanks are owed to our Eagle Market Place funding, project, and community partners, all of whom were critical in helping move Eagle Market Place from concept to reality.


Alphie Rodriguez 

Amy Cavanaugh/Limones

Bellwether Enterprise

Beth Maczka

Brian Melvin Briggs


Carol, Donald David, Daniel, Douglas & Sharon Briggs

Christine and Lee DeVico

Christopher Reinhardt

Cindy Weeks

City of Asheville

Dana & Jana Stonestreet

David & Ellen Nutter

Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation

Futch Family Foundation

Gene Adams

Greg Walker Wilson

Gregory Olson & Rosalind Willis

Holly Jones

JD Ellison & Company

Joan & John Myers

John McKibbon/Mckibbon Hospitality

Johnnie Grant/The Urban News

Joy Wilcox

Judy Futch & Paul Smith

Karen & Scott Dedman

Kendra Payne

Kudzu Brands

LEAF Global Arts

Lee DeVico

Lisa Keeter

Lucy Burgin Sloan, DDS

Megan Shook

Mike & Debby Vance

Mike Romero & Family/Amarx

Mountain Housing Opportunities

Mrs. Willie Vincent

Neighborworks America

Partnership Property Management

Patricia Ezzell

Pattie Moore & Lea Stoll

Rafael & Selena Jimenez

Rich & Melinda Olejniczak

Rob & Robin Vocci

Roberts & Stevens, Attorneys at Law

Scott Carter/The Real Estate Center

Shoshana & Geoffrey Barton

Susan Latta

TD Bank/TDCharitable Foundation

Ted & Terry Van Duyn

The Charles and Betti Saunders Foundation

Tise Kiester

Tony & Debra Delia

Va Boyle & Jean Cassidy

Velma Murphy

WEAVERCOOKE Construction Company

Wells Construction Group

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