Up & Coming Weekly

February 12, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 9 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 13-19, 2019 UCW 9 e city of Fayetteville has experi- enced significant growth over the last 15 years. In 2004, Fayetteville's western city limit was extended to the Hoke County line. is so-called "Big Bang" annexation included 28 square miles and 43,000 people. e city's popula- tion exploded overnight to more than 200,000. e North Carolina Depart- ment of Commerce estimated Fayette- ville's 2015 population at just more than 208,000. In 2000, the U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum was opened on what used to be the 500 block of Hay Street. It served as a cata- lyst for the revitalization of downtown Fayetteville. Business and local govern- ment began investing in the inner city as never before. In 2007, a new City Hall and adjoining police headquarters opened in the 400 block of Hay Street. Fayetteville City Council believes the time has come to consider replac- ing City Hall and the police adminis- tration building. City Hall is directly across the street from the former Prince Charles Hotel, which is being renovated into 60 apartments. e police station is across from the baseball stadium, which is now under construction. at makes both proper- ties valuable areas for retail develop- ment, which is one of the reasons officials say it is time to make a move. It's been less than 12 years since City Hall was built, but it's already overcrowded. ree years ago, the city spent more than $1 million reno- vating the third floor for executive of- fices. Public parking is at a premium. During their annual planning retreat, council members decided the city should develop a centralized govern- ment campus. at's an idea Cumberland County Commissioners conceived 30 years ago when they purchased the former Coca-Cola bottling plant property on Ramsey Street. Since then, county social services and public health office buildings have been consolidated on the site. "We've got staff all over the city in various locations," Councilman Bill Crisp said during the retreat. City departments occupy the Festival Park Plaza building as well as buildings on Lamon and Alexander Streets. Officials believe a five- or six-story structure is needed to house municipal offices that should be consolidated in City Hall. But just where should the city relocate its offices? It may be that this project justifies a consultant's study. ere isn't a lot of available property in the downtown area. East Person Street has potential as does the south- ern end of Murchison Road. Revital- ization of Murchison Road between Fayetteville State University and the new Grove Street bridges has been given priority emphasis by the city. ere are a lot of unanswered ques- tions for continuation of economic development of the city center. And, as City Councilman Jim Arp noted, that's the point of all that is underway now between the railroad tracks on Hay Street. Already, planned projects budgeted at more than $100 million are underway. e potential avail- ability of unoccupied property where city government buildings now stand would pave the way for future busi- ness expansion. City Hall looking for a new home? by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS ere are a lot of unanswered questions for continuation of economic development of the city center. JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Go Online 484-6200 www.uandcomingweekly.com Flip our pages for news, views, art and entertainment! Call and ask one of our marketing representatives to help you grown your business. Special anks to Up & Coming Weekly

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