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Downtown Fayetteville Is On the Rebound

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FAYETTEVILLE — Years of planning, fundraising, and taking risks is paying off, as downtown Fayetteville makes a comeback.

You may not be able to see it from the street yet, but inside many downtown Fayetteville buildings, there is quite a bit of restoration going on. And, it doesn't come cheaply.

Mike Pinkston owns the Climbing Place. One year ago, he invested his life savings in the indoor-climbing business. His hope was that if he built it, they would come -- even if customers would have to come to a decaying downtown Fayetteville. Luckily, private cash has resulted in an uptick for the heart of the city.

Since the spring of 1996, more than $24 million has been invested here by the private sector. The Fayetteville Partnership's Robin Kelly-Legg says that those investors are seeing healthy returns.

Pinkston is so pleased, he is expanding his business. And, others have big plans as well.

The investor of the Huske Hardware House brew pub will have spent more than four-and-a-half million dollars, once the floors above the restaurant are turned into apartments. The Radisson Prince Charles is also spending about four million dollars for a new nine-story tower.

Officials with the Fayetteville Partnership believe the money is coming, because people believe it's Vision Plan is going to work. Mike Pinkston was a believer.

For people without deep pockets there is a loan pool. One million dollars was available to help business owners get started. That loan pool is already gone.

The Fayetteville Partnership is working with local banks to replenish it so even more willing business owners can move in.


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