Parking deck contract negotiations continue

Parking deck design (looking north) / Olsson, Inc.

Negotiations are almost complete on a contract to build a parking deck to replace the parking spaces that will be lost when the large lot across from the Walton Arts Center is redeveloped as part of the Cultural Arts Corridor project.

Fayetteville voters last year approved a $31.6 million bond package for the arts corridor that includes $10 million for the replacement parking deck.

City Council members on Tuesday heard the second reading of an ordinance to approve a contract to purchase about one-half acre of what’s known as the Depot Lot, located across Dickson Street at the northwest corner of West Avenue.

As part of the proposed contract, the city would pay $250,000 to Greg House and Ted Belden and $100,000 to Bank of Fayetteville for the land needed to build a five-story parking deck with 330 spaces.

Parking deck design (looking northeast) / Olsson, Inc.

The contract includes a conservation easement to preserve the historic train depot building currently occupied by Chipotle, and seven years of protection of the freight building currently occupied by Arsaga’s.

The city would have the option for seven years to purchase the trail plaza between the depot and freight buildings to use as a transit hub plaza.

As part of the agreement, House and Belden would be allowed to use most of the ground floor of the deck as commercial space, with the remainder reserved for a city police substation.

A lease-to-own agreement for a fifth of an acre at the north end of the current WAC lot would come with the proposal, so that House and Belden could build the Fayetteville Food Hall, a four-story building designed for multiple culinary experiences, including options for morning, lunch, evening and after-hours dining. The $263,000 lease would be forgiven if the building is built to the city’s satisfaction and if it’s open and ready for use within a year of the completion of the civic plaza that’s planned on the current WAC lot.

Fayetteville Food Hall / Rob Sharp

House and Belden would retain for 10 years an option to build up to two additional stories on top of the deck for their own use at their own expense.

Chief of Staff Susan Norton said more time is needed to work out the details of the contract, particularly terms on costs between both parties.

City Attorney Kit Williams said he believes the council could wait to approve the contract and still meet the city’s bond obligation.

The council agreed to leave the item on the second reading at their most recent meeting on Tuesday. The discussion will continue Jan. 5.

Construction of the deck is expected to start in 2021. Once complete, construction of the civic plaza could begin – possibly sometime in 2022.

More drawings

Parking deck design (looking northwest) / Olsson, Inc.

Looking north by the colonnade / Olsson, Inc.

Transit hub plaza / Olsson, Inc.

Looking through the transit hub plaza towards Arsaga’s / Olsson, Inc.

Common space connecting the deck retail space (right) to Arsaga’s (left) / Olsson, Inc.

Common space alternate view / Olsson, Inc.