Local News

Proposed Fayetteville Tower Sparks Discussion

Posted April 13, 2004

— Fayetteville is considering building an unusual landmark.

The height: 400 feet. The price tag: $1 million.

City officials believe it will be an icon for Fayetteville. Others say that is a pretty tall order.

In downtown Fayetteville, change does not happen without discussion. These days, the big talk is about a big tower.

At 400 feet, the tower would be roughly three times as tall as the 11-story Systel Building, the tallest building in Fayetteville.

"When you think of Sydney, Australia, you think of the opera house," Fayetteville Mayor Marshall Pitts said. "Well, that's what we want for our community."

Pitts said the tower is supposed to symbolize Fayetteville's racial diversity. It would be the center piece of the proposed $5 million Festival Park.

Much of the money to build the tower is not coming from taxpayers, but from Progress Energy.

Not everyone wants the tower. Clothing store owner Jay Shin said the city should spend its money on dressing up downtown's Hay Street.

"We'd rather have more parking on the street," Shinn said.

Shinn said redevelopment efforts have taken too long and have not provided enough parking.

"They took three years to rebuild this street," he said.

In the end, it may be a choice between a symbol of Fayetteville's future or the reality of its present.

The city is asking for public feedback. There will be a public hearing April 26.

You also can e-mail the city, or visit the city's

Web site.

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