West Asheville’s Firestorm Books plans relocation, reno for auto shop

ASHEVILLE – In the fight to establish permanently affordable community space in the quickly-gentrifying sprawl of the city, West Asheville’s Firestorm Books has purchased the former site of Dr. Dave’s Automotive — and plans to donate the newly acquired land to the Asheville Community Land Trust.  

“This gives us the long term stability we need while also creating a permanent community asset that will be removed from the speculative market,” said Firestorm Collective member Libertie Valance in a July 11 release.

The property would be the first commercial property in the land trust’s inventory.

Firestorm Books will relocate to the former automotive site at 1022 Haywood Road in early 2023, just a mile away from its current location. 

Not just cementing a new home, the partnership with a local land trust intends to carve out a lasting queer space in Asheville, with a “democratically managed community resource capable of outliving our little bookstore,” according to the narrative posted on the store’s crowdfunding campaign page. 

Related news: Asheville same-sex marriages skyrocket as LGBTQ community braces for rollback of rights

Firestorm in West Asheville is moving to the former Dr. Dave's Automotive on Haywood Road.

The queer, anarchist, feminist bookstore announced its $450,000 acquisition of the 2,880-square-foot building on July 9, and plans filed with the city include an outdoor patio, off-street parking, a private meeting room, space for an expanded inventory and rooftop solar. 

“We’re very excited about it,” said Ash Wilde, a collective member and worker/owner at the 14-year-old cooperative. “We think this is going to be a bigger and better experience for folks who are already familiar with Firestorm.” 

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