Moog Music, an eclectic and iconic Asheville manufacturing company, relocated in 2011 to a long-neglected location at the city's northern gateway, a move made in part to revive, refresh and lead to more private investment in the immediate area. The company, which has designed, engineered and manufactured electronic musical instruments in Asheville since 1994, has purchased the vacant buildings at 160-170 Broadway St., and is spending $2.5 million to refurbish and update the facilities as its new corporate headquarters.
Read more about company founder, the late Bob Moog, his legacy and the history of Moog Music, at the Bob Moog Foundation website.
The new location will offer great visibility and space for the manufacturer to grow, but company leaders say they chose it specifically in an effort to help revive the north end of downtown Asheville.
"If it was just about Moog, we wouldn't have moved to this building," says Mike Adams, the company's president. "But we're always trying to support the city, and this anchor on the north end will have a huge impact. This once terrible-looking corner will be a bright, shiny gateway to the city."
Renovating Old Buildings
Originally a Buick dealership, over the years the new Moog building has served as a grocery store, a nightclub and a circuit board manufacturer. But it has been vacant for the past five years and had become an eyesore. As Moog cleaned up the place in preparation to move in, years of patchy maintenance and disrepair were peeled away to uncover the buildings' original charm.
"The ambiance of the old building is exactly what we were looking for," Adams says. "And thanks to the building's colorful history, it has some real funky stuff in it. We're a pretty funky company, so that works for us."
Adams says he and other business and community leaders hope the cleanup will start "a domino effect" for the area, leading to more private investment nearby.
When Moog purchased its new facilities, four buildings were included. The company demolished one building to make room for parking. The front building includes the manufacturing floor, a showroom and upstairs offices. The company's warehouse is next door, and the third building is intended for future expansion. In addition to housing Moog's daily operations, the new facility hosts bands and concerts for the company's radio series, Live at Moog.
Creating New Jobs
When Moog Music moves into its new headquarters in early 2011, it brought about 45 employees, intent on adding about 10 more.
While Moog conducts its operations from Asheville, few of the company's sales are local. Instead, the company ships its goods to 250 dealers across the United States and to additional dealers in 45 countries around the world.
"While we don't do a lot of business in Asheville, Asheville is our home and we want to contribute to the city as much as we can," Adams says.