A&P Commission ends Old Post Office negotiations, funds artists’ move to new space

Fayetteville Underground artists, who had hoped to move into the Old Post Office building, will instead lease space inside the GCM Building with financial help from the A&P Commission.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission has officially ended negotiations to purchase the Old Post Office building.

Commission director Marilyn Heifner said the building’s owner, Ron Bumpass, did not respond to the commission’s $730,000 offer for the building.

Heifner said the offer, formally extended by the Davis Law Firm, included a five-day deadline for response which ended last Wednesday.

“We have heard nothing from him, so I think that project’s probably dead,” said Heifner.

Part of the commission’s plans for the Old Post Office included leasing the basement of the building to the displaced Fayetteville Underground artists in an effort to keep their gallery space near the downtown square.

The artists will instead to move to a different location on the square.

The commission voted Monday to give the Underground artists $55,000 to help them move into a portion of the GCM Building at the corner of Mountain Street and Block Avenue.

“We need them back here,” said commission member Bob Davis during the group’s semiannual special funding meeting on Monday. Davis has long been a proponent for keeping the Underground artists on the square.

“I think it’s vital to the city of Fayetteville, especially on Thursday nights,” said Davis in December when the group first discussed buying the Old Post Office. “It’s kind of a driving force to get people down there and if it’s not there, I think First Thursday would fall off some.”

The artists are expected to use the money to renovate vacant space inside the GCM Building and to enter into a lease agreement with the building’s owner, Gary McLendon.