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Fayetteville Gets Money to Revitalize Murchison

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FAYETTEVILLE — Most areas around colleges and universities have thriving business communities that cater to students, but hat's not the case around Fayetteville State University. Now, there's money coming in for supporting plans to give the area an economic boost.

In the past 30 years, Murchison Road has not seen a lot of new development. Eugenia Evans Johnson has lived in the area for 53 years and has watched the corridor and the adjoining College Heights community go downhill.

"The businesses along Murchisons road are gone, the people who have contributed to the community, a lot have died," says Johnson.

One of the communities largest contributors has come up with a plan. With city funding, Fayetteville State University has developed a $37 million vision to revive the area known as "The Murk."

"It's at the point where it's going to be an active ongoing project and not something that's going to gather dust on the shelf," says Dr. Richard Ellis of FSU.

A high rise dormitory, a business incubator, cultural arts center, a sports complex, housing for the elderly, new businesses and new restaurants are all planned.

"It would be very convenient because you don't have to worry about asking for a ride," says FSU student Taurus Singleton.

Just about everyone thinks its a great idea, but some people have concerns. They say for the plan to be successful they need more police protection so people will feel safe to eat and shop in the area.

A police substation is part of the plan. Residents such as Johnson are eager to see the College Heights area become what it once was.

"We'd like to become a productive community with the students, I think it will improve the city," says Johnson.

A $400,000 federal grant has already been approved for the business incubator. Efforts are underway to obtain federal money for other parts of the proposal.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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