Developers eye corner of Block Avenue and Dickson Street

The house at 229 N. Block Ave. was once home to GoodFolk Productions. Owner Nina Shirkey said developers have expressed interest in buying her home for possible development in the area.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

At least two developers are interested in property located at the intersection of two of Fayetteville’s most prominent streets, and the land may already be under contract.

Nina Shirkey, who lives at 229 N. Block Ave., said last week that she was recently approached by developers who were interested in purchasing her home. She didn’t name the developers, but said they told her they were considering building an apartment complex at the corner of Block Avenue and Dickson Street, and that they were under contract to purchase property surrounding her historic house.

Shirkey’s house was once home to regular folk concerts promoted by her father, Mike Shirkey, and was known locally as the Goodfolk house.

A vacant lot at the corner of Block Avenue and Dickson Street could soon be home to a new large scale development.

Staff photo

Representatives of Specialized Real Estate Group, who are working on several downtown projects, confirmed Thursday that they are “in the early stages of looking at the property,” but would not comment on whether they have an offer accepted to purchase the land.

The Fayetteville-based company focuses on multifamily housing projects, and is best known locally for the LEED Platinum-certfied Eco Modern Flats complex, and two upcoming student housing projects – Sterling Frisco, which is under construction at Maple Street and West Avenue, and a planned complex on the south side of Center Street between Duncan and Harmon avenues.

According to county records, the vacant property at the corner of Block and Dickson across from the post office was last purchased in 2010 by the Alley family of Little Rock for $1.35 million. The land is one of the last remaining undeveloped parcels available in downtown Fayetteville.

Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty said last week that at least one other developer is interested in buying the land.

“I know for a fact there’s another person in California looking at the same property,” said Petty. “He’s ready to jump on it if this deal doesn’t go through.”

Talk of developing the lot at Block and Dickson has been mostly quiet since plans to build a nine-story hotel and condominium project called Divinity on Dickson were halted in 2007.

The hotel, a project by former Fayetteville developer Brandon Barber, was met with opposition from residents who said it was too big for the area and would cause traffic problems that could destroy the vibe of Dickson Street. Barber was denied a permit by the Planning Commission, but the project was approved by aldermen during an appeal to the City Council.

The council’s decision sparked a lawsuit from Mike Shirkey, but Barber eventually abandoned the plans citing financial issues related to the project.