Sound Space, LLC
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Years in Business: < 1 year
Product/Service: Recording studio and practice space
NCIFund Role: Business loan
Sector: Consumer services
Impact: Job creation, downtown revitalization, vital community services

The Opportunity

Enter Claude Coleman, Jr., drummer for the alt-rock band Ween, and his business partner Brett Spivey. Together, they're creating Sound Space, LLC, a recording studio and practice space in the building that once housed Rabbit’s Motel. Originally started in the 1940s by Fred Simpson (known as Rabbit because of his uncommon speed), Rabbit’s was the only lodging available to touring Negro Southern League baseball players and other African-American visitors to Asheville during Jim Crow. The adjoining soul food kitchen served pork chops “as thick as Bibles” according to Susan Reinhardt, a former columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times.

NCIFund is providing Sound Space with a loan to renovate and repair the building, which was badly damaged in a fire.



Once completed, Sound Space will sell new and used musical equipment, rent practice space in the former motel rooms, and coordinate lessons and workshops. A local chef (and relative of the original Rabbit's owners) will open a new soul food café on site. The project will further honor the cultural legacy of the building with murals and a gallery to commemorate the baseball players who stayed at Rabbit’s Motel during segregation.

The loan to Sound Space is a prime example of the creative and flexible financing NCIFund is uniquely positioned to deliver. The Rabbit’s Motel was an Asheville icon. When I was a kid, everybody knew where it was, probably because of its unusual name. What I did not know growing up was the significance of the hotel for the visiting Negro Southern League ball players and traveling musicians. I’m happy the rejuvenation of the property allows for its history to be remembered and celebrated.
                                     - J. Deaver, Director, Natural Capital Investment Fund


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For more information, visit Sound Space’s website.