A 12-year-old plan to transform the southern edge of the Walton Arts Center parking lot into a mixed-use urban street scene could finally come to fruition if aldermen approve a new proposal brought forth this week.
Fayetteville City Council members are set to discuss on Tuesday the possibility of selling a portion of city-owned land near the corner of West Avenue and Spring Street to a private developer who would construct a multi-story, mixed-use building at the south end of the West Avenue Parking Lot, as laid out in the city’s Downtown Master Plan.
The master plan, which was adopted by aldermen in 2004, also calls for the eventual construction of liner buildings along the other two edges of the lot, but this week’s proposal deals only with the southern portion of the property.
While the vision for the area was spelled out over a decade ago, actual plans to develop the lot hadn’t gotten much traction until recently when the city completed a new parking deck across the street. City officials said the new deck wasn’t meant to replace the older lot, but agreed it would come in handy if parking spaces are temporarily lost during construction of any new development on the West Lot.
Three months after the deck opened, aldermen approved a resolution of intent to consider proposals for development of the property, and the city has since received an offer that includes a small portion of the lot.
Reindl Properties, developers of the Metro District and the Metro District Lofts just south of the West Lot, have offered to buy a 0.39-acre portion of the lot for $337,440. Their proposal includes construction of a five-story, mixed use building designed by local architect Rob Sharp, whose firm is responsible several downtown projects including the Three Sisters building and The Dickson.
Design sketches show a building constructed of stone and brick with sash windows, pressed metal cornices and trim, and decorative street balconies. The project would incorporate and realign Frisco Trail outside of the West Lot where it currently shares space with vehicles.
The building’s footprint sits atop 58 parking spaces inside the lot, but Reindl’s proposal calls for additional funding to help construct 58 new, on-street parking spaces along West Avenue between Dickson and Center streets to ensure no parking is lost.
Tuesday’s resolution, brought forth by Alderman Matthew Petty, is not to accept the offer from Reindl, but rather to entertain official purchase offers for the property in accordance with city code. In other words, if the resolution is accepted, it’s possible other formal offers could surface.
As for the remainder of the West Lot, Petty’s resolution suggests waiting until an ongoing parking study is completed before entertaining any formal development proposals.
The council is set to discuss the item at the next regular meeting on Tuesday, June 21 inside City Hall room 219.