Selected Location: Depot Lot at the NW Corner of Dickson St. and West Ave.
On January 21, 2020, City Council adopted a resolution authorizing Mayor Jordan to sign a letter of intent with Sage Partners on behalf of the Bank of Fayetteville, Farmers and Merchants and to sign a letter of intent with Sage Partners on behalf of Fayetteville Depot, LLC for the purchase of property for the construction of a new parking structure on the Depot Lot to replace the parking spaces on the West Ave Lot in preparation for the construction of the Civic Plaza as part of the Cultural Arts Corridor Project.
Those letters of intent provide for both entities to the sell portions of their property to the City of Fayetteville for a combined $350,000 plus a land swap for approximately 0.2 acres on the north end of the Civic Plaza across West Ave. In exchange, the City will acquire approximately 0.6 acres for the replacement Parking Deck Construction, 0.2 acres for an access easement & 0.2 acres for a construction easement. Additionally, those letters of intent provide for:
- Long-term protection of Train Depot & Arsaga’s
- Final negotiations between House and Arsaga’s
- Houses Inc to build all deck liner building space
- PD sub-station in liner building
- Design/use restrictions on Civic Plaza Building
Throughout 2020, the City worked with both property owners to develop public/private partnership contract language to develop the parking deck. As part of that process, the City worked with consultants, contractors and property owners on the preliminary parking deck design. That design guided the actual land purchase from both property owners – this purchase along with the public/private partnership contractual language was approved by City Council in March 2021.
The real estate transaction between the City and both property owners was completed on Dec. 20, 2021. A groundbreaking ceremony for the parking deck project will be announced in January 2022.
History of the Project
On December 18, 2018, City Council passed resolution 250-18 supporting $10M from the Cultural Arts Corridor Bond being spent on replacement parking for the parking spaces in the West Ave. parking lot at Dickson St. and West Ave. where the Civic Plaza is to be built. Then on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the Citizens of Fayetteville voted yes on question 8 in the Bond that authorized $31,685,000 for Arts Corridor improvements. Question 8 specifically stated that prior to the removal or loss of twenty-five (25) or more public parking spaces from the West Ave. parking lot related to the Cultural Arts Corridor construction, the City must replace the 290 parking spaces that will be lost within 1000 feet of the Walton Arts Center’s west public entrance.
Study of Possible Locations
On March 12, 2019, City staff and Garver Engineering provided an analysis of several locations within 1000 feet of the Walton Arts Center’s west public entrance that would be suitable for replacement parking. That analysis identified three locations that met bond criteria:
- Depot Lot – NW corner of Dickson St. and West Ave.
- East Lot – Located on the east side of School Ave. between Dickson St. and Spring St.
- Nadine Baum Studios Site – Located on the west side of West Ave. between Spring St. and Meadow St.
Based on the cost to replace the Nadine Baum Studio building and the lack of Walton Arts Center and University of Arkansas interest in redeveloping the site, Mayor Jordan and Staff recommend eliminating Nadine Baum as an option for replacement parking. The Depot lot and the East lot on School Ave. both appear to be workable options for the replacement parking deck. Based on this more detailed Replacement Parking Deck Decision Matrix, the Mayor and Administration recommend the Depot lot as the preferred and most viable option for replacement parking.