FAYETTEVILLE — A plan to include a new hotel on the former Farmers Cooperative site took another step forward last week.
The city’s Subdivision Committee on Thursday voted to recommend approval of large-scale development plans for the project. It’s now up to the Planning Commission to make the final decision.
The hotel is part of a larger plan to convert the property at the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South School Avenue into a mixed-use development called South Yard.
Local developers Specialized Real Estate Group envision an adaptive reuse of the 1950s co-op buildings while also preserving the character and history of the site.
Construction has already begun on a series of new apartments on the property, and the developers have announced plans for two restaurants, including Memphis-based Central BBQ and a Fayetteville Taco & Tamale from Yellow Rocket Concepts.
A public park along Tanglewood Branch is also included in the overall project design.
Adding a hotel was not part of the original 2019 plan, which called for 220 housing units on the 8-acre site. An updated project was approved in 2020, which reduced the amount of apartments to 128 to make room for a 7-story, 56,000-square-foot hotel.
The developers have requested a variance to allow for about a half dozen additional compact vehicle parking spaces on the site.
Jessie Masters, the city’s development review manager, said a maximum of 35% of parking spaces are typically allowed to be sized for compact vehicles. The developers are requesting that number be increased to 41% for the project.
Masters said city staff are comfortable with that adjustment and are recommending in favor of the request.
“They are maximizing the availability of on-site parking, while reducing the overall footprint of the parking area,” Masters said.
Shortening the spaces, she said, will also reduce the impact of the streamside protection zone on the southwest portion of the site.
A total of 331 parking spaces are included in the project, which more than fulfills the city’s requirement of 145 spaces for the residential portions on the development. The city does not have a standard minimum parking requirement for nonresidential uses.
The extra parking will accommodate for the nonresidential buildings at South Yard, including the hotel, restaurants and the other commercial tenants that are expected to be announced.