FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — The City of Fayetteville plans to improve publicly owned land by creating a new park in the heart of the city.
The project aims to enhance the outdoor space at the center of Fayetteville, but it comes with a price
The goal of the Cultural Arts Corridor is to improve the landscape of the area, but the project will take over one of the main parking lots on Dickson Street.
The parking lot right between the Walton Arts Center and George's Majestic will become a part of the park. Project managers are assuring residents that replacement parking will be built.
It's a tough sell for people already complaining about parking in the entertainment district but City leaders say it will be worth it.
“It’s just enhancing the experience and creating a much more vibrant fun outdoor space with access to nature along the Razorback Greenway,” said Peter Nierengarten, City Environmental Director and Project Manager for the Cultural Arts Corridor.
The first portion of the project will expand the Fay Jones Woods near the public library, removing invasive plants to clean up the landscape and adding more trees.
Small gathering areas, as well as water conservation efforts, will be included in the park.
“Fay Jones Woods has been property this city has owned for many years and not really done anything with and this is a really exciting opportunity to enhance that,” Nierengarten said.
The two-phase project comes with a multi-million dollar price tag costing over $30 million.
A civic plaza will be built in place of the large parking lot next to the Walton Arts Center.
U of A student Sam Whitesell says with limited parking available already he is less than excited to see that lot go.
“I would rather take the parking honestly, I think as a convenience thing you know trails are nice but we already have trails,” Whitesell said.
As part of the project managers will have to build replacement parking for the 290 spots being lost.
"We are working to identify that replacement parking location now and get that construction on that replacement parking started and completed prior to starting construction on the civic plaza," Nierengarten said.
The project manager says additional street parking will also be added with the park as well as street improvements and sidewalk upgrades in some areas.
Construction on the project is set to begin in the spring of 2020.