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Downtown Fayetteville Getting Spruced Up

Posted July 30, 2007

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— At least one city leader seeking to revitalize Fayetteville's downtown will soon call that area home.

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne plans to make his home at a penthouse in a mixed-use development under construction at 300 Hay St.

To succeed, the revitalization effort needs projects that not only attract people but also keep them downtown, said city officials.

With luxury condominiums, townhouses and penthouses, the $13 million Hay Street development will bring a much-needed residential base for downtown's economy, said city planners.

Menno Pennink, developer of the Hay Street project, said he plans to include an upscale restaurant and a martini bar at 300 Hay St.

Pennink said he expected to complete the development by the end of the year.

Business leaders said that downtown revitalization projects aim at tapping into the city's existing demographics.

"This is a young market. And we are influenced by Fort Bragg," said Marshall Isler, with the Cumberland County Business Council.

Docks at the Capitol, a huge family entertainment complex, is scheduled to open this fall inside the former Capitol building on Hay Street. The $6 million complex will feature high-tech games, upscale eateries, two bars and a bowling alley, as well as retail and office space.

The city government is also taking action to spruce up areas, such as Skibo Road and Bragg Boulevard, that are riddled with strip malls and empty lots, said George Breece, a longtime resident and community activist in Fayetteville.

"There are people working on enforcement and coding," said Breece.

Fayetteville planners are also considering a corridor study aimed at improving major thoroughfares leading into the city. That study could happen within the next year, said officials.

The 300 Hay St. project shows that downtown developments can succeed, said Pennink. More than half the residential units in his project are already sold, he said.

Breece urged residents to consider that more development done and dollars spent downtown helps improve the entire city.

"There's a renaissance taking place in the whole community, but the truth is, it starts in the inner city," said Breece.


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  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Jul 31, 2007

    packfan79 is right, with attitudes like lawdogzwife, nothing would get done.
    i wonder if lawdogzwife is ACTUALLY from fayetteville or JUST lives here. if she just lives here, no wonder there is no appreciation.


  • shine Jul 31, 2007

    Maybe the pressure of the new coming in will run the criminal element out of the area.
    I know there used to be a BIG joke about Hay Street in Fayettville. I hope it works. Fay. needs a uplifting in some of those parts. No different than not only the big towns - but rural too.

  • OpinionOnEverything Jul 30, 2007

    Some people will only see the glass half empty when it comes to these kinds of revitalization projects. I can remember the same skeptics that fought against building the new Durham Bulls ballbark back in 1987, or the opening of Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, etc., etc. When will people learn that constant flight to the suburbs to escape annexation, or settle in neighborhoods and school districts with fewer minorities, or run away to get the lowest taxes will only cause the crime and blight problems to get worse. If you live in or around Fayetteville, you will benefit from what the city is doing to help its downtown neighborhood. Unless people want to move to or start a business in your city, you'll have a hard time when it comes to selling your home for a reasonable return on investment. Your city will continue to decline and crack dealers will show up on your side of town sooner or later.

    As for those condos, they'll be sold out very soon, so you're probably too late to get in.

  • CJjunkie Jul 30, 2007

    I agree lawdogzwife...crack central...I think they need to get rid of the bad elements in that area before they start building "luxury" anything downtown...I mean who wants to live near the county jail in a luxury condo?

  • packfan79 Jul 30, 2007

    Improvement has to start somwhere. Attitudes like yours have kept Fayetteville down in the past. Isn't downtown Raleigh or Durham near blighted areas as well?

  • lawdogzwife Jul 30, 2007

    I live in Fayetteville and I don't understand the money people are putting into this. And it is just blocks from crack house central!