A major component in the vision for a walkable downtown Fayetteville is officially in play following the approval of a rezoning request at Thursday night’s city council meeting. 

The rezoning to C-1 (Downtown Historic Mixed Use District) clears the way for the developers behind Walton Communities, a mixed-use project to include four properties totaling 30.52 acres near Grady Avenue and Beauregard Boulevard. The plan calls for 270 apartment units with commercial and retail space. The development would be connected to the new City Hall project by a road and walkable paths.

The main change from the Feb. 7 Council work session was the additional condition requiring creating direct access from the development to State Route 85, to which the developers confirmed they are already in the process of acquiring property with frontage on 85. 

Attached to the larger plat is a 2.97-acre tract directly on the corner of Grady and Beauregard that was also approved for C-1 zoning. The property will become the site for a small lot, single-family subdivision that ties into the larger development. 

Mayor Ed Johnson assured residents that the decision-making process was a thoughtful one, where they took both sides into account.

“Myself and the Council were exhaustive in listening to citizens who are both advocates for this project, as well as those who are in opposition. We thoroughly appreciate the input from the citizens. Every factor you brought before us was considered, and I assure you that the Council is unanimous in the decision that we made tonight,” he said. “It may not sit well with some, but I assure you we value your input.”