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Mith242

Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Some interesting information about the old post office. Sorry if this has been posted already; the search function doesn't work correctly on my phone :(

TIMELINE Old Post Office

March 1, 1907: The deed to the old post office property is transferred to the federal government at a nominal price of 50 cents.

July 15, 1911: After more than two years of construction, a new post office in the downtown Square officially opens for business.

March 21, 1957: A retired mail carrier fires a 12-gauge shotgun at another postal employee, reportedly because of a long-standing “family misunderstanding.”

May 19, 1963: A new post office opens on Dickson Street. U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright gives the dedication address.

July 22, 1974: Members of the Fayetteville Housing Authority, city Board of Directors, Arkansas Office of Housing and Urban Development and concerned residents meet to determine the fate of the now-vacant old post office building. An urban renewal plan for the property had previously called for it to be razed, putting parkland in its place.

Aug. 27, 1974: The old post office is added to the National Register of Historic Places, meaning federal funds cannot be used to tear down the building.

Nov. 11, 1977: According to Washington County property records, Donald and Edna Bumpass purchase the old post office building for $42,500.

Feb. 28, 1978: The Fayetteville Board of Directors accepts the dedication of the land around the old post for use as a city park.

May 22, 1979: The Old Post Office and Gathering Place restaurant and club officially opens for business.

Fall 1997: The Hog City Diner begins operating in the old post office building.

June 4, 2002: The operators of the Hog City Diner are evicted for non-payment of back rent.

September 2004: Sodie’s Fountain and Grill becomes the anchor tenant for the old post office, before ceasing operations in spring 2006.

August 2007: Urban Table Bar & Grill opens before officially calling it quits Jan. 1, 2009.

Source: Staff Report

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Some interesting information about the old post office. Sorry if this has been posted already; the search function doesn't work correctly on my phone :(

TIMELINE Old Post Office

March 1, 1907: The deed to the old post office property is transferred to the federal government at a nominal price of 50 cents.

July 15, 1911: After more than two years of construction, a new post office in the downtown Square officially opens for business.

March 21, 1957: A retired mail carrier fires a 12-gauge shotgun at another postal employee, reportedly because of a long-standing “family misunderstanding.”

May 19, 1963: A new post office opens on Dickson Street. U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright gives the dedication address.

July 22, 1974: Members of the Fayetteville Housing Authority, city Board of Directors, Arkansas Office of Housing and Urban Development and concerned residents meet to determine the fate of the now-vacant old post office building. An urban renewal plan for the property had previously called for it to be razed, putting parkland in its place.

Aug. 27, 1974: The old post office is added to the National Register of Historic Places, meaning federal funds cannot be used to tear down the building.

Nov. 11, 1977: According to Washington County property records, Donald and Edna Bumpass purchase the old post office building for $42,500.

Feb. 28, 1978: The Fayetteville Board of Directors accepts the dedication of the land around the old post for use as a city park.

May 22, 1979: The Old Post Office and Gathering Place restaurant and club officially opens for business.

Fall 1997: The Hog City Diner begins operating in the old post office building.

June 4, 2002: The operators of the Hog City Diner are evicted for non-payment of back rent.

September 2004: Sodie’s Fountain and Grill becomes the anchor tenant for the old post office, before ceasing operations in spring 2006.

August 2007: Urban Table Bar & Grill opens before officially calling it quits Jan. 1, 2009.

Source: Staff Report

As far as I know I don't think a detailed list has been posted here on the OPO. It's a shame that location has had the problems it's had. Had the Renaissance project came about it might have given that area enough activity to help a business stay open there. I've always thought it would be a nice location for a visitor center for the city. Or maybe even something for the Chamber of Commerce or something along those lines.

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That's very a very interesting timeline- I hadn't seen it before. The original OPO was successful for many years so it can be done. As much as I'm sure it would be fought a casual eating chian might make it work. The visitor center idea is a good one- perfect place for that.

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As far as I know I don't think a detailed list has been posted here on the OPO. It's a shame that location has had the problems it's had. Had the Renaissance project came about it might have given that area enough activity to help a business stay open there. I've always thought it would be a nice location for a visitor center for the city. Or maybe even something for the Chamber of Commerce or something along those lines.

The Fayetteville Chamber was very close to moving into that building a few years ago, but couldn't work out the finances.

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I've already mention in another topics that city crews are way behind clearing out drainage areas because of all the heavy rains the past couple of months. More than enough to keep the usual crew busy past the end of the year. So the city is having other crews move over to help catch them up. Sounds like for the next couple of months road repaving, sidewalks and trail construction will slow down or be put back until things are in better shape.

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It isn't really a development item but the big news in Fayetteville these days is that Mayor Jordan's Chief of Staff Don Marr is being sued by a local doctor that helped him financially and that Marr hasn't repaid. I guess I need to add that this is all alleged and not proven. Evidently, Marr asked the doctor, who was a personal friend, to cosign a loan because of Marr's financial difficulties amid allegations of embezzlement against Marr by a former employer. Marr evidently didn't make payments on the loan and the doctor had to refinance it and make the payments himself.

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. The next mayoral election is in 2012 so there is time for it to go to court and be settled by then. I can't imagine Jordan keeping Marr as his top man and I also can't imagine Jordan being an effective administrator without Marr. I wonder who else is looking to run for mayor in 2012?

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It isn't really a development item but the big news in Fayetteville these days is that Mayor Jordan's Chief of Staff Don Marr is being sued by a local doctor that helped him financially and that Marr hasn't repaid. I guess I need to add that this is all alleged and not proven. Evidently, Marr asked the doctor, who was a personal friend, to cosign a loan because of Marr's financial difficulties amid allegations of embezzlement against Marr by a former employer. Marr evidently didn't make payments on the loan and the doctor had to refinance it and make the payments himself.

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. The next mayoral election is in 2012 so there is time for it to go to court and be settled by then. I can't imagine Jordan keeping Marr as his top man and I also can't imagine Jordan being an effective administrator without Marr. I wonder who else is looking to run for mayor in 2012?

I've heard a little about this but I admit I haven't really looked into it that much. I could be wrong but I'd sorta be surprised if Jordan was able to win another term. Even if nothing happens with Marr. Although I guess you never know what things will be like by the time the actual election comes around. Or for that matter who the opponents will be. But it just seems to me that the way things have happened whether it's Jordan's doing or not. That it will be hard for him to get re-elected.

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I've heard a little about this but I admit I haven't really looked into it that much. I could be wrong but I'd sorta be surprised if Jordan was able to win another term. Even if nothing happens with Marr. Although I guess you never know what things will be like by the time the actual election comes around. Or for that matter who the opponents will be. But it just seems to me that the way things have happened whether it's Jordan's doing or not. That it will be hard for him to get re-elected.

Yes, Jordan has taken some hits on paid parking and Block Ave but as the incumbent he will have the advantage over anyone else who runs. This Marr situation will be a major distraction for his campaign if he keeps Marr on. I'm concerned that if he lets Marr go the city will be leaderless for the most part- Jordan is best when he is in a ceremonial role only. He is good at photo ops and other lightweight tasks but I don't know about the hard work and hard decisions - remember the Sale Barn vote?

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Yes, Jordan has taken some hits on paid parking and Block Ave but as the incumbent he will have the advantage over anyone else who runs. This Marr situation will be a major distraction for his campaign if he keeps Marr on. I'm concerned that if he lets Marr go the city will be leaderless for the most part- Jordan is best when he is in a ceremonial role only. He is good at photo ops and other lightweight tasks but I don't know about the hard work and hard decisions - remember the Sale Barn vote?

Yeah, good point.

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I know this will surprise everyone, but here's yet another example of NIMBYism. Fayetteville for years has had Howard Nickell Rd listed as a future principal arterial road. After the city had already spent a lot of money in that general area improving roads, now the local residents want to try to keep the city from one day expanding that road into a four lane road. I'm sorry but you can't let the city spend lots of money improving roads in that area so that the city can eventually make that into a principal arterial then suddenly complain. They should have spoken up earlier than this. As usual everyone betters roads and such until it's 'in their backyard'.

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I know this will surprise everyone, but here's yet another example of NIMBYism. Fayetteville for years has had Howard Nickell Rd listed as a future principal arterial road. After the city had already spent a lot of money in that general area improving roads, now the local residents want to try to keep the city from one day expanding that road into a four lane road. I'm sorry but you can't let the city spend lots of money improving roads in that area so that the city can eventually make that into a principal arterial then suddenly complain. They should have spoken up earlier than this. As usual everyone betters roads and such until it's 'in their backyard'.

Yes, some of those complaining bought their homes without ever checking on what was planned for that area. That road was planned as a major connector over to the mall area for many years. There was even talk of a 4 lane ring around the city using that road.

If you buy property on the edge of town you should expect more dvelopment around you in the future. That is the normal growth pattern for citys but it always seems to surprise some people when something new or expanded comes their way.

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Okay so here's a bit of irony. A while back I mentioned that the West Mountain Brewery is going to finally open down on the Square a while back ago. Well apparently they're trying to fix that building up a bit and looks like they have no covered up that old Coke ad on the side of the building. That's gotten a number of people upset and worked up about the whole thing. But sounds like for one they couldn't fix the old ad because it would violate the sign ordinance. It also sounds like some of what they're doing is trying to make the building more 'green' as well. With it being an older building it's not the most efficient building around. So it seems like even though nobody seems to be a fan of seeing the old ad go away, it in a way is a victim of the green initiative and the sign ordinance. Just one of those odd situations that just happen to pop up occasionally.

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It's about halfway through with still about a month to go. But so far Fayetteville's Farmers Market is leading the votes for favorite farmers market in the 'large market' category. Not sure if Fayetteville will win out in the end. But it's been outvoting other cities such as Seattle and Kansas City. It would be really great if it could win out and get some more recognition.

http://action.farmland.org/site/PageServer?pagename=top_20_americas_favorite_farmers_markets

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Has anyone heard about a Bruce Lee museum coming to Fayetteville?  I had heard one mention of it a few months back but had not heard anything since.  Then I just read a small article in the NWA Business Journal than mentions a Asian themed museum, small movie theater, and display area.  

Here is the article: http://www.arkansasb...28.140122&cID=h

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I read that same article- seems like a very niche type of place for a small metro like this. I'm sure there local people who would support it but not enough for it to be a long term success. Maybe it will be like the Reptile Museum and only open limiited times.

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Yeah I thought that was a bit odd when I first heard about it. I certainly wish it success and wouldn't mind seeing other things like this. But it has caught me off guard and I do wonder how well it will do as well.

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The city has got some numbers back on the effect paid parking has had on the Dickson Street Entertainment District. For the September to June period the HMR tax has shown a 6.1% increase compared to a year ago. The HMR tax doesn't include general retail or liquor sales and there has been a lot of relocation of businesses along the street so the increase doesn't give the whole picture but it seems clear that paid parking hasn't been the business killer that some have made it out to be. While it is true that some businesses have gone under or moved others have moved in and did well. The HMR tax collection increased 5.8% citywide so Dickson actaully did better than expected.

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The city has got some numbers back on the effect paid parking has had on the Dickson Street Entertainment District. For the September to June period the HMR tax has shown a 6.1% increase compared to a year ago. The HMR tax doesn't include general retail or liquor sales and there has been a lot of relocation of businesses along the street so the increase doesn't give the whole picture but it seems clear that paid parking hasn't been the business killer that some have made it out to be. While it is true that some businesses have gone under or moved others have moved in and did well. The HMR tax collection increased 5.8% citywide so Dickson actually did better than expected.

Yeah something like this will always be tricky. Some businesses will adamantly claim the paid parking severely hurt their business and caused some of them to leave Dickson St. But as a whole I'm not sure it was anywhere as bad as many fear or claim. To me it seems rather like the smoking issue. If you had a restaurant or business already in trouble then maybe paid parking was the one last final straw. But over all I think most of the healthy restaurants and businesses are handling it alright. In some ways it might help in the long run. Pushing some businesses out to other areas that had been struggling. And also allowing other businesses to eventually give Dickson St a shot. While we're on this subject, the city has recently put up quite a few fences around the paid parking areas. Apparently there were quite a few people at night who were 'jumping the curbs' to get out of paying. But as you said in some ways it's hard to get a good total picture. Changes in the over all economy certainly played a role as well.

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Yeah something like this will always be tricky. Some businesses will adamantly claim the paid parking severely hurt their business and caused some of them to leave Dickson St. But as a whole I'm not sure it was anywhere as bad as many fear or claim. To me it seems rather like the smoking issue. If you had a restaurant or business already in trouble then maybe paid parking was the one last final straw. But over all I think most of the healthy restaurants and businesses are handling it alright. In some ways it might help in the long run. Pushing some businesses out to other areas that had been struggling. And also allowing other businesses to eventually give Dickson St a shot. While we're on this subject, the city has recently put up quite a few fences around the paid parking areas. Apparently there were quite a few people at night who were 'jumping the curbs' to get out of paying. But as you said in some ways it's hard to get a good total picture. Changes in the over all economy certainly played a role as well.

Studies have been done before on this topic. The U.S. Trust for Historic Preservation used to have something called "The Main Street USA" program. I bought the book for a town I lived in once and it was all about how to revitalize your downtown. It states right in the book that when business is bad the business owners will immediately claim lack of parking or paid parking is the problem and rarely is that the problem. Businesses have to have something that people want to buy! Seems so fundamental. If they want it, they will do anything to get it. Is there free parking in NYC or Boston? Heck no, and yet there are some very successful small businesses in those places. I have no problem with the paid parking--I'm more likely to find a spot. What I don't care for is the slow-assed machines that take five minutes of standing in the sun to process my credit card. It is like they are dialing up on a 15 year-old modem or something to relay the CC info. Slow! Not convenient. Other than that, the paid parking almost assures me of always finding a spot.

M

Has anyone heard about a Bruce Lee museum coming to Fayetteville? I had heard one mention of it a few months back but had not heard anything since. Then I just read a small article in the NWA Business Journal than mentions a Asian themed museum, small movie theater, and display area.

Here is the article: http://www.arkansasb...28.140122&cID=h

Maybe the "Reptile Museum" could co-locate with these people. Better yet, get the Tarot lady from College to put in a spot there, too. Then we could have a weird troicha of local attractions that might be worth visiting when one has an hour to kill!

M

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Maybe the "Reptile Museum" could co-locate with these people. Better yet, get the Tarot lady from College to put in a spot there, too. Then we could have a weird troicha of local attractions that might be worth visiting when one has an hour to kill!

M

Last I heard on the Bruce Lee museum, is that it's in the very early planning stages. I think they've progressed a little bit further than the 'just an idea' stage. But I got the impression it could be years if this ever comes about.

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Reptiles, Bruce Lee and fortune telling in the same venue? That would be quite the tourist attraction. LOL

I realize that the city needs to financially support the arts in Fayetteville but the dedication of any parking revenue to the WAC was a mistake. All parking revenue should have been spent for operation of the lots with whatever was leftover set aside for a parking deck. This would have avoided a lot of ill will towards the WAC and paid parking. Building a deck would do as much to support the WAC as the relatively small amount of cash being given to the WAC.

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Mayor Jordan mentioned a few sites as possible locations for a future parking deck. Jordan admitted he picked these locations because the city owns the land and there wouldn't have to condemn any private homes or businesses. Here's a little map of the three locations he mentioned for a possible five level parking deck.

fayettevilleparkingdeck.jpg

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I hope Dickson Street doesn't end up doing something like the parking fiasco in Columbia, MO. I asked a few folks up there about their monster of a new garage and to a person just laugh, shake their heads and say "what a joke". Hopefully we can avoid the same situation while still building a reasonable structure.

post-25317-0-67748100-1316471415_thumb.j

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I hope Dickson Street doesn't end up doing something like the parking fiasco in Columbia, MO. I asked a few folks up there about their monster of a new garage and to a person just laugh, shake their heads and say "what a joke". Hopefully we can avoid the same situation while still building a reasonable structure. post-25317-0-67748100-1316471415_thumb.j

From everything I've heard, this future parking deck would just be five levels, not some huge behemoth. For that matter, if Fayetteville tried to build something that large near Dickson St you know lots of people would have problems with that.

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