The largest commercial building in western North Carolina, the Grove Arcade Public Market, is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It was planned by E. W. Grove, who was the visionary and creator of the Grove Park Inn. After its opening in 1929, the arcade was home to a fine collection of local shops and services and it served as a center of commercial and civic life in the state for about 13 years. The Grove Arcade Public Market was closed and occupied by the federal government when World War II broke out. It was chosen by the U.S. government because of its safe, remote location. Retail and office tenants were evicted during this period. Following the war, the public clamored for the return of the arcade for its original use. But it continued as the headquarters for the National Climatic Data Center under federal ownership. Later, the Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, was formed by a group of community leaders for the restoration of Grove Arcade to its original form. In 1992, Aaron Zaretsky, with 15 years of experience as a director of Pike Place Public Market in Seattle, joined the foundation. As a result of the efforts of the foundation, the federal government built a new facility for the National Climatic Data Center in 1995 and the City of Asheville took possession of the building in 1997. The foundation signed a 198-year lease with the City of Asheville in 1999. The arcade, beautifully restored to its art deco grandeur, was re-opened to the pubic in 2002. This 269,000 square foot, white marble structure features the best the region has to offer, ranging from fresh produce, crafts, and wares to culinary delights. There are more than 50 shops and restaurants, apart from luxury office and residential space, located there.