FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The city of Fayetteville is in the early stages of a design project to overhaul 50 acres of outdoor space with the intention of tying together cultural institutions in downtown Fayetteville, from the Walton Arts Center on Dickson Street to the planned expansion of the Fayetteville Public Library.
If approved by the Fayetteville city council, $1.77 million from the Walton Family Foundation will be used to hire a team of world class landscapers to create a cultural corridor with locals in mind.
The foundation announced $3.6 million in grants on Thursday (Nov. 16) for projects to improve and enhance public outdoor spaces in downtown areas. The Downtown Springdale Alliance, the Community Development Corp. of Bentonville/Bella Vista and the cities of Bentonville and Rogers also received grants.
"I think the real excitement is the fact that the community gets to be apart of helping us decide what to spend this money on. In terms of the design elements." Peter Nierengarten with the City of Fayetteville, said.
New street scapes, public plazas and event spaces are options for the corridor, which will stretch from West Dickson to West Prairie Street. Nierengarten is hoping to see suggestions to spruce up their current festival space, that doubles as the parking lot for the Walton Arts Center.
"I'm very very excited." Evan Wordlaw at Dickson Street Book Shop, said.
The new corridor could mean more foot traffic.
"We get a pretty good uptick in business when there are others events around. A lot of people come from out of town, they've heard about our book shop through the internet and through word of mouth," Wordlaw added.
The city council will decide Dec. 5th whether to accept the grant. If accepted, the city expects to break ground during late 2019 or early 2020.
Also included within the area are the Community Creative Center and the under-construction TheatreSquared venue.
The planned area for the arts corridor spans from West Dickson Street to West Prairie Street, north to south, and its western and eastern boundaries are defined by Gregg Avenue to School Avenue, respectively.
A map of the proposed corridor is available here.
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