Public Interest Projects was privileged to be involved in a minor way in a number of incredible downtown businesses. By providing creative financing alternatives, these entrepreneurs were able to enhance their downtown institutions.
A regional destination for contemporary home furnishings, Mobilia offers innovative design at affordable prices. Clean lines, vibrant colors and rich textures inspire you to wander the store and imagine how inviting your home could feel. Their downtown location features furniture, lamps, accessories and gifts for both home and office and their experienced staff provides services ranging from interior design to gift registry. It seemed apparent that downtown was ready for a sizable contemporary furnishings store. Asheville’s downtown residential population was growing and many people in the area were drawn to more sophisticated urban design. Recognizing the significant capital investment required for a furniture store, Public Interest Projects set up a rent structure to allow Mobilia to grow into the space. The business and real estate was sold to established entrepreneurs Michael Forde and William Griffin of Four Corners Home.
The Marketplace Restaurant
Located on Wall Street in the heart of downtown, the Marketplace has established itself over the past thirty-five years as a world-class restaurant, acclaimed by publications ranging from the New York Times and Food & Wine to Bon Appetit, Southern Living and Wine Spectator. PIP provided flexible financing when the Marketplace moved to its present location.
Laurey’s provides full-service catering as well as a bountiful selection of prepared foods to take home or eat-in at their sunlit downtown location. PIP financing allowed Laurey’s to expand into their present location and gave them time to establish their in-house dining. Laurey’s closed after Laurey Masterton’s death, but her spirit lives on in 67 Biltmore Cafe, owned by former Laurey’s managers, Emily and Adam Thome. Laurey is remembered not only for her great food and warm welcome, but for her indomitable spirit. She inspired many and encouraged all of us to enjoy life to its fullest. Don’t Postpone Joy.
67 Biltmore Cafe and Catering
Owners Emily and Adam Thome managed local favorite Laurey’s, a deli and catering business, for many years. After Laurey died, the family was forced to close, leaving a talented staff without work. PIP made a bridge loan to help the Thomes keep this downtown institution going. 67 Biltmore Cafe and Catering provides full-service catering as well as a bountiful selection of prepared foods to take home or eat-in at their sunlit downtown location. Great food sourced from local growers within walking distance of our office. We call our participation ‘enlightened self-interest’. The Thomes say, “We Cook. You Eat. Everybody’s Happy”. Yes we are.
Fine Arts Theatre
Downtown’s only cinema is dedicated to first-run and independent films. This wonderfully renovated older movie house was envisioned by John Cram, owner of Blue Spiral Gallery in downtown Asheville and New Morning Gallery and Bellagio of Biltmore Village in Asheville. PIP provided interim financing to allow John Cram to realize his vision for the restoration of the Fine Arts Theatre.