Authority actively driving changes to downtown Fayetteville

Authority actively driving changes to downtown Fayetteville

Property acquisitions by the Fayetteville Downtown Development Authority in recent years brought additional businesses to the downtown area. Those efforts continued in 2017 and are expected to see results in 2018, especially in the area between Stonewall Avenue and Lanier Avenue immediately west of downtown.

Above, Downtown Development Director Brian Wismer. File photo.

Downtown Development Director Brian Wismer said DDA in 2017 began initiating plans for a complete re-do of the alley behind the businesses fronting the west side of Glynn Street. The area between the rear of the businesses and the Holliday-Dorsey-Fife Museum is planned to become a gathering place.

“This will be a main focus in 2018,” said Wismer.

DDA in 2018 will work with business owners to turn the area into a pedestrian-only space, one outfitted with tables and chairs, and perhaps a retail kiosk, both for everyday use and special events. If successful with the endeavor, Wismer said DDA would pay the landscape and hardscape costs. He said there is also the potential for creating a small retail space fronting Stonewall Avenue and in proximity to the museum.

Wismer said 2017 also came with the purchase of the Lester property and Waters property, both along Ga. Highway 54 immediately west of downtown.

Wismer in November said the purchase of the Lester property, a 1.79-acre tract, is expected to play a significant role in the upcoming expansion of the downtown area after the approval of the Downtown Master Plan, expected in 2018.

Wismer said DDA wanted to control the fate of the historic home situated on the property, rather than seeing it destroyed. He said the property was acquired for a price of $499,000.

Wismer said the existing house will likely be converted for office use while the former garden area, situated immediately to the west, could be the site of other commercial property, and possibly with residential on the second floor.

Situated to the west of the Lester property, the Waters property included a structure that has long-been unoccupied.

In 2018, or in the near-term, a portion of the Waters property could be used to bring additional commercial businesses to the area and to install a roadway connecting Stonewall and Lanier, said Wismer.