NEWS FEBRUARY 2021
CITY HALL & CITY CENTER PARK UPDATE
The new Fayetteville City Hall & City Center Park is moving closer to completion each week. Furniture is scheduled to arrive in late April. A grand opening hasn’t been announced yet, but City leaders are leaning toward late spring. Project Manager Steve Mauro with Comprehensive Program Services says City Hall interior work is coming along nicely, as is much of the adjacent City Center Park progress. Challenging weather over the last few weeks has slowed progress on the playground and
splashpad, but he says progress is still being made and will improve as the weather improves. Located on the southeast corner of the City Center Park property, renovation of the old high school gym and bus barn is underway by Roundtown Collaborations. The old bus barn will be a food and beverage venue anchored by Line Creek Brewery, and the old gym will be an events center called The Dottie at Triumph Station. See more construction progress photos at www.fayetteville-ga.gov/news.
2 - February 2021
DOWNTOWN ROAD DIET COMPLETED, YIELDING ADDITIONAL PARKING SPACES
The much-anticipated Downtown Road Diet project was completed in early February, yielding several additional parking spaces, safer street crossings, and a more attractive Courthouse Square. Pictured above are the hardscapes and parking spaces added directly on the Square. Pictured below are the two new parallel parking areas added to East Stonewall Avenue beside Fayetteville First United Methodist Church on the east side of the Square.
City leaders and Courthouse Square patrons say they’re pleased with the results of Fayetteville’s newly-completed Downtown Road Diet project. It replaced a few parallel parking spaces and an underused lane of East Stonewall Aveue (Highway 54 eastbound) with extra parking, a couple of safer crosswalks, and several traffic-calming, landscaped medians. “The finished design looks
great,” said City of Fayetteville Economic Development Director Brian Wismer, who managed the project. “I’ve noticed safer speeds by those driving through the area, which was also one of our major goals. In addition to the nine angled parking spaces adjacent to the Historic Fayette County Courthouse, another nine parallel spaces were created in two sections adjacent to Fayetteville First
3 - February 2021
United Methodist Church. Wismer said all of the spaces were occupied on the evening of Fat Tuesday. “It was wonderful to see all of the new spaces being used by patrons visiting our downtown restaurants,” Wismer said.
CITY REPAVING CONTINUES WITH JIMMIE MAYFIELD
Crews are milling and repaving Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard as weather allows. Almost seven miles of City roadways were repaved as part of the 2020 schedule: 5.16 with Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) dollars, and 1.77 miles with financial assistance from the Georgia Department of Transportation.The Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard project is the final SPLOST-funded project for the 2020 schedule. A priority list is being developed for future City street repaving.
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED THROUGH MARCH 8 Governor Brian P. Kemp has extended the official State of Emergency through Monday, March 8, 2021, and he has signed Executive Order 02.15.21.01, providing additional and revised guidance for Empowering a Healthy Georgia in response to COVID-19. The Order modifies sanitation guidance for businesses and events in accordance with data on the novel coronavirus’ ability to spread from surface contact. The
Order also adds a requirement for restaurants, non-critical infrastructure businesses, and events to ensure their ventilation systems operate properly, in response to data showing that increased air circulation and purification reduce the spread of COVID-19. A provision is included to allow
an individual to apply for a renewal of their weapons carry license up to 120 days after the expiration date if the license expires during the ongoing Public Health State of Emergency. There is also a provision allowing lawful noncitizens to apply for one or more additional 120-day temporary driving permit or ID card from the Department of Drivers Services Read the Governor’s Executive Orders at www.gov.georgia.gov.
MAYOR JOHNSON DELIVERS FOURTH STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
Mayor Edward Johnson opened his fourth State of the City Address by applauding public safety first responders, local and regional medical professionals, and other frontline workers who have put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also thanked local residents for practicing new health and safety protocals in order to help reduce the spread of the virus. Mayor Johnson recounted the many ways City leaders and staff adjusted during the pandemic to continue and even improve City
services and initiatives. He also gave updates on City projects, including the new City Hall & City Center Park, street repaving, beautification efforts, and more. View the State of the City Address video on Facebook: www. facebook.com/fayettevillega.gov.
FAYETTEVILLE CITY LEADERS PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL COUNCIL RETREAT
Fayetteville City Council members and City staff participated in the annual City Council Retreat on February 10 and 11. Each year, City leaders review projects and priorities from the year before and develop a vision for the current year and years to come. The City Manager and department leaders will meet in early March for a Staff Retreat to work on the vision details and to set priority action items. 5 -February 2021
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: WELCOMING OTHERS TO THE CITY THEY GREW TO LOVE
Separated by 60 years and about three miles, Hazel Askew and Thais Mills have never met each other, but they have a lot in common. Ms. Askew, the elder, has lived in Fayette County all of her life, the last 85 in Fayetteville. Ms. Mills has only been here a few years, but to see her enthusiasm for Fayetteville on social media, you’d have thought she was born and raised in the shadows of Georgia’s oldest courthouse. Both ladies are of African decent. Both have a passion for where they live and for making others feel welcomed here, regardless of their heritage. Ms. Askew, on the other hand, was not always made to feel welcomed. She remembers school buses passing her on the way to school. She had to walk while white children rode those buses. Still, she loved her community. Trucks would give black children a ride out to the farms where they worked in the fields “to make a few bucks.” Hard work was a way of life in the 1930s and ‘40s, especially for black young people, for whom college
and university opportunities were slim. Despite racial segregation and discrimination across the nation at the time, Ms. Askew says she was taught to see the brighter side of life and to be grateful for what she had. She also had a keen eye to do better in life. Ms. Askew’s late husband was fortunate enough to land a job with the federal government. She was a seamstress. Over the years, Ms. Askew became known for her sewing, working her craft for people all over the county, but most notably the Redwines, who were some of Fayetteville’s most influential community leaders. When her five children were a little older, Ms. Askew wanted to earn more money to provide more opportunity for her children. She attended Atlanta Technical College to become a keypunch technician, and she, like her husband, became a federal employee. She worked for years in the National Parks Service, and she retired as a payroll supervisor with the Federal Aviation Administration. While they earned their living in Atlanta, Fayetteville was their home. “We knew everybody in town,” Ms. Asked said. “In fact we knew the people out in the county, too.” 6 - February 2021
After he retired from his federal job, her husband became known as an appliance-reparing associate of the late Robert Jordan, who ran the city’s most iconic hardware (and everything else) store. Ms. Askew is one of the last living residents to remember Fayetteville’s railroad. She recalls visits to the station along what is now North Jeff Davis Drive to see the train roll in from Fort Valley to the south or Atlanta to the north. “We ran down there to see who was getting off the train,” she recalls. “It was a big deal. People got their picture made.” Ms. Askew rode the train one time. It was a one-way trip to Atlanta, though that was not her intention. Ms. Askew remembers the day her aunt took her to the station for a visit to Atlanta. Nobody told her the train wouldn’t be bringing them back. “While I was there (in Atlanta), they took the train off the tracks, Ms. Askew said. “I rode the train for the first time and the last time.” Indeed, the train company discontinued rail service through Fayetteville in the later 1930s, and some time after that they pulled up
the tracks. Nowadays, Ms. Askew spends her time tending to her immaculate garden in the Sugar Hill neighborhood and socializing with family and friends. It’s this kind of history, and particularly its black history, that intrigues Ms. Mills about Fayetteville. Her roots are in New Orleans, Louisiana, the town her family fled when Hurricane Katrina devastated it in August 2005. She was a teenager and a budding artist at the time. The Mills Family moved with so many other refugees to Houston, Texas, but there was also a connection back then to Fayetteville, Georgia. Ms. Mills has an aunt who lives here. “I would visit her here in the summer,” Ms. Mills recalls. She says she and her mother settled in Houston but regretted not moving to Fayetteville when her aunt did. When her mother passed, Ms. Mills and her own young daughter looked east. “I called my aunt and asked for her zip code: 30215,” Ms. Mills said. “And that’s what I gave my real estate agent. “I remember my mother saying she wished she had moved here 30 years earlier. Now I am here with my
daughter.” Not long after arriving in Fayetteville, Ms. Mills took a job driving a bus for Fayette County Public Schools. She says it was an amazing opportunity to get to know the community and its families. She says the parents of her bus children made her feel very welcomed here, and now, though she has only been here a few years, her heart is very much about making others feel welcomed. Ms. Mills took the same approach to social media. She joined the Living in Fabulous Fayetteville Facebook group, and she quickly engaged with the community asking questions and offering encouragement. In the meantime, she became a local influencer herself. From there, she opened her home garage “to girls only” as a place to hang out, be welcomed, and be encouraged. “I want to be a resource, because I need resources,” Ms. Mills said. “We have a good time there.” That garage is also Ms. Mills’ abstract art studio, where she makes her one-of-a-kind flowers and other works of art (ThaisFlowers.com). In recent weeks, it has become a multimedia studio of sorts, where
7 - January 2021
she interviews people and produces other recordings and live broadcasts for her online channels, including the Gotta Love Fayetteville Facebook group. Ms. Mills has embraced technology as a means of embracing the future of her new hometown, but she is also fascinated with Fayetteville’s history. If you attended the last couple of Cemetery Walks hosted by the Holliday Dorsey Fife Museum, you may recall a young lady portraying Ms. Grace Fitzgerald, the only black woman to be buried in the whitesonly section of Fayetteville City Cemetry. That was Thais Mills. What makes Fayetteville so special? Anyone who slows down long enough to notice will tell you it’s the people who make this city a great place to live, work, play, and stay. Ms. Askew and Ms. Mills are two of the reasons “you gotta love Fayetteville.”
CONSTRUCTION IN THE COMMUNITY Development updates from around Fayetteville Construction locations within the City 6
5 2-4 7
1. The new City Hall & City Center Park are expected to open this spring 8 -February 2021
2. Trilith Studios (formerly Pinewood Atlanta Studios) continues to add sound stages to its campus on Veterans Parkway.
3. Progress on the Capstone and Central Park buildings at Trilith (formerly Pinewood Forest) continues.
4. Work on the new Town Stage at Trilith has been placed on hold.
5. Construction and interior work at the Navy Federal Credit Union on Highway 85 North is nearly completed.
6. Marksmen Properties is building five more office/warehouse facilities along North 85 Parkway.
7. The Life Storage building is nearing completion along Highway 314 next to Lowe’s.
9 - February 2021
WELCOME NEW FAYETTEVILLE BUSINESSES STARTED IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY
A&M Auto Emporium
90 Commerce Drive, Suite B26
Lanier Motors, LLC
310 North Glynn Street, Suite B, Room 411
Association of Village Pride
205 Lafayette Avenue, Suite D7
Lex Select Auto, LLC
125 Commerce Drive, Suite B6
Badlia Auto Sales, LLC
115 Commerce Drive, Suite E15
Little Successful Angels Daycare & Learning Academy
125 Marquis Drive
Cornerstone Auto Sales, LLC
90 Commerce Drive, Suite B46
Pardee Label, LLC
165 Promenade Parkway
Dix & Hardaway Enterpries, LLC
320 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 200
RC Auto Trading, LLC
355 East Lanier Avenue, Suite A
Every Auto Imports, LLC
115 Commerce Drive, Suite E29
320 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 200
Global One Motors, LLC
115 Commerce Drive, Suite E25
Residential and Commercial Services, LLC Sacred Love Auto, LLC
1240 Highway 54 West, Suite 202
310 North Glynn Street, Suite B, Room 404
Sivad Automotive, LLC
320 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 218
JC Auto Imports, LLC
90 Commerce Drive, Suite B44
Valentine Health, Inc.
490 Bradley Drive, Suite A
Jerusalem Autos & Logistics, LLC
320 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 200, Room 203
West Clayton Dialysis
100 Promenade Parkway, Suite C
Karz Today, LLC
90 Commerce Drive, Suite B37
Fayette Meadows, a residential neighborhood being built at the intersection of Highway 92 South, Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard and Helen Sams Parkway, is expected to see high-quality, single-family homes springing from the ground within the next few months. 10 - February 2021
CITY MAKES PROGRESS WITH UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE AND LCI STUDY RESIDENTS ASKED TO COMPLETE SURVEY The City of Fayetteville’s Community & Economic Development Division has published its draft of the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), and they are also moving forward with the public input phase of the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Study project. City leaders say they plan to introduce the UDO draft to the public in late February and early March. The purpose of the workshops, the first taking place Tuesday, February 23, during the 6 p.m. Planning & Zoming Commission meeting, is to provide an overview of the UDO and its chapters. As part of the UDO process, staff have been working on updates to the City’s Official Zoning Map, which will be discussed in subsequent workshops. There will be several opportunities for public input. The LCI Study project has entered
the public survey phase after the successful Photo Scavenger Hunt and Virtual Design Charrettes. Local residents can visit the LCI Study website, www.FayettevilleLCIStudy. com, and click on the survey link at the top of the page.
2021 EVENTS CALENDAR TO INCLUDE FAYETTE COUNTY 9-11 TRIBUTE AT AMPHITHEATER
Main Street Fayetteville is wrapping up details for the 2021 Events Calendar, taking into consideration special procedures that will be necessary during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Events being planned include concerts, a movie night, Friday Night LIVE, the Pumpkin Walk, Christmas on Main Street, and more. Also returning is the Fayette County 9-11 Tribute, which this year will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragic day. 11 - February 2021