Spruce Pine, NC – AMY Wellness Foundation (AMYWF) is pleased to announce the grand opening of the Ellis Lofts apartments, a new workforce housing complex in downtown Spruce Pine. The project was initiated in response to the Foundation’s recognition of the significant challenges faced by Western North Carolina residents with regard to affordable housing.
In 2022, the Foundation identified a potential space for this purpose in downtown Spruce Pine and acquired a property on Oak Avenue to transform it into nine workforce apartments.
“The lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges in each county in the Tri-County area,” said Starli McDowell, AMYWF Vice Board Chair. “When we found out that the Oak Avenue building was for sale, it seemed like a great place for affordable workforce housing.”
The building is centrally located above Spruce Pine’s Riverside Park and within walking or biking distance of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital and East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. In addition to the nine units, there is also a retail space available to local business owners at a reduced and affordable rate.
The Oak Avenue property will be named and dedicated to AMYWF founding Board Chair Dr. Randy Ellis. The “Ellis Lofts” apartments will provide safe, quality, and affordable housing for individuals and families in our region.
The hope is that these apartments will help local businesses hire and retain employees as well as increase foot traffic to downtown businesses. “This and the other housing complexes under construction in Avery and Yancey counties are still not enough. We need more affordable housing in each county, and AMY Wellness Foundation is committed to the needs of the community we serve,” McDowell continued. “Housing is central for residents and businesses to thrive and grow, which is why we are excited about this project as well as supporting home repairs.”
“We are proud to be part of the solution to the housing challenges our communities are facing,” said McDowell. “The Ellis Lofts are just the beginning of our commitment to the region’s housing needs, and we look forward to continuing our work in this area.”