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Downtown rebound

Visionaries’ faith in city center helped lead a turnaround


Eyes on the prize.

That’s the mantra for people who have a vision and will stop at nothing in its pursuit.

For Menno Pennink and Harry Shaw, a focus on that vision helped achieve personal goals. But beyond that, their persistence brought renewed vitality and investment to lead a transformation for downtown Fayetteville.

Pennink led the renovation of the landmark Prince Charles Hotel and brought new life to other downtown properties, including empty movie theaters and lawyers’ offices. Perhaps his signature project is in the 300 block of Hay Street, where condominiums and commercial space now occupy land where buildings had crumbled.

Shaw is remembered for his passion in the development of Cross Creek Linear Park, which snakes from Festival Park, past Maiden Lane and through Cross Creek Cemetery No. 1. Today, a nearly three-mile stretch of walkways and trails provides a haven for young families and curious nature lovers, all in an urban setting.
Pennink and Shaw were visionaries, and they will be honored as such at the 2022 CityView Downtown Visionaries Luncheon recognizing people who make a difference downtown.

As Shaw told CityView’s Bill Kirby Jr. in an interview before his death: “This is our town — our town. What it is is what we make it.’’
Some dreams live forever.

The 2022 CityView Downtown Visionaries Luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. June 29 at Segra Stadium, 460 Hay St. in Fayetteville. Tickets are available at cityviewnc.com.  

CityView Downtown Visionaries Luncheon