Aug 4, 2023 - News

Downtown Fayetteville's big construction plans

Stay tuned for a new parking deck. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

The city of Fayetteville is gearing up for the final phase of its long-awaited cultural arts corridor.

State of play: Construction is wrapping up on a new parking deck on West Avenue downtown, with plans to open in September before parking is lost in the Walton Arts Center lot across the street to construction of a new civic plaza.

The big picture: The arts corridor is meant to create outdoor public spaces that celebrate art and encourage biking and walking.

  • The whole project takes up about 50 acres downtown, purposefully around flagship arts and cultural establishments like the Walton Arts Center, TheatreSquared and the Fayetteville Public Library.

Details: The existing parking lot will be transformed into open community green space with a hotel on the south side, an amphitheater, a spring-water canal and a play structure for kids on the west side.

Details are still being decided for the play structure, but it likely won't be a traditional playground, Peter Nierengarten, environmental director for the city, tells Axios.

  • The city is also working on street improvements downtown, having recently finished Dickson Street; Center and Spring streets are expected to be complete by fall.
  • The idea is for West Avenue to serve as an event-friendly alleyway where vendors can comfortably fit booths along the north-south sidewalk.

What's next: Construction on the civic plaza will begin in a few weeks and should be complete in about a year, Nierengarten says.

Flashback: Voters in 2019 approved about $31.7 million to build the cultural arts corridor, now called The Ramble. It was a part of the 2019 bond issue which totaled about $226 million.

  • The project included now-complete upgrades throughout Fay Jones Woods, such as paved walkways, an intersection with Razorback Greenway, spaces for art installations or performances, and restoring Tanglewood Branch Creek.

What to watch: Plans for another building on the north side of the plaza are TBD.


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