David McCune and his fiancée, Susan Aldridge, were among the first. “This is the center of Fayetteville,” he said.
And indeed the view from the top-floor master bedroom looks out on all of the growth right outside. It’s a room with a view of the parties at Festival Park or the parades down Hay Street. And what a room. A spacious master suite takes up most of the third floor with a small guest room or office across the hall. The second floor has an open living space with dining room and kitchen. The ground floor comes with a laundry room, bathroom and garage.
The townhomes at 300 Hay will face Ray Avenue and Franklin Street. All of them have three bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and an option for a private elevator that tacks $25,000 on to the price. A townhouse without one costs about $354,000. Next door are condominiums and penthouses. The penthouses fetched prices of $700,000 and up, and all of them sold, including one to Mayor Tony Chavonne and his wife Joanne.
This public-private venture is a collaboration between Anderson Architecture of Southern Pines, Marksman Properties, the 300 Block Investors and the City of Fayetteville. The 300 Block Investors comprise Tommy Bradford, Ralph Huff, Menno Pennink and Mark Stout. The City of Fayetteville spent more than $1 million demolishing buildings, preparing the site and installing sidewalks and a parking lot. Once the project is complete, the city will still own the lot in the center of the complex. Suzanne Pennink is the listing agent responsible for selling the residential and commercial units. She says the 300 block is pivotal to downtown Fayetteville’s continued revitalization. “It’s very important to have people living downtown,” she said.
It’s the hope that the new families at 300 Hay will mean more new restaurants and shops downtown. 300 Hay itself will include retail space though the tenants have not been announced. It has already bumped the number of people living downtown. According to research by David Nash, a city planner, 300 Hay brings the number of residential addresses to 96. Compare that to 12 residences reported in the 2000 Census.
For Susan Aldridge, it’s a homecoming of sorts. She once lived in downtown Charlotte. So the biggest question of downtown living – a constant stream of train whistles – doesn’t faze her.
“I actually like the sound of trains,” she says. “It’s actually a soothing sound because it’s a home sound.”