F’ville votes 3-2 to back DDA loan

A proposal by the Fayetteville Downtown Development Authority to have the city back a loan so DDA can purchase the former dress shop at Lanier Avenue and Glynn Street for re-sale was approved April 17 by the City Council on a 3-2 vote.

The DDA proposal requested that the city serve as a loan guarantor to buy the space on the old courthouse square for re-sale for retail or restaurant use.

Community Development Director Brian Wismer said DDA has sought financing from Regions Bank for 80 percent of the $179,000 purchase price of the 1,700 sq. ft. building.

“Because of DDA’s interdependence with the city for a portion of its revenue source, the lender has requested that the city serve as the guarantor of the loan,” Wismer said.

Wismer said DDA wants to acquire the vacant property to continue the restaurant and retail momentum going in the downtown area, adding that the goal is to sell the building for a similar purpose.

A brief discussion resulted in a 3-2 vote, with council members Ed Johnson, Mickey Edwards and Scott Stacy voting for the measure and council members Paul Oddo and Jim Williams opposed.

Oddo prior to the vote said he was concerned that the city would be “on the hook for the loan.”

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