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County Unveils Downtown Site for New Crown Event Center

Nov 28, 2022

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners has announced the selection of a site in Downtown Fayetteville for the Crown Event Center, a new multipurpose event center that will replace the existing Crown Theatre and Arena. The announcement came during a special meeting Monday at 1 p.m. in the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse at 117 Dick Street, Fayetteville.

Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon revealed that the Board has selected the parking lot in front of the Courthouse as the site for the new facility, which is anticipated to open in October 2025 when the existing theatre and arena are scheduled to close.

Cannon said the site selection process has been a priority of the Board of Commissioners Crown Event Center Committee, to keep the project moving forward in order to meet the established deadline.

“The site that is being brought forward today is one that meets the guiding principles for this project, which were established through a significant community engagement process that started with the Board, the Crown Event Center Committee and then the community,” said Cannon. “We are very excited about this being downtown, right in front of our courthouse complex.”

The County worked with MBP Carolinas, the owner’s representative for the project, to engage the Timmons Group to assist with site review for the new facility. Timmons Group reviewed and evaluated potential sites within the three areas identified in the Market & Financial Feasibility Study completed by CSL in 2021 – the existing Crown Complex site, Downtown Fayetteville and the I-295 outer loop. Their evaluation criteria included ownership, environmental issues, vehicular circulation and parking. Displaced parking was a factor that was considered as part of the site selection process. Additionally, parking and accessibility will be an important part of the design process as the project moves forward, as well as looking at programming to maximize opportunities for events that take place at times that will allow for the maximization of available parking in the area.

Following Timmons Group’s initial evaluation, the Crown Event Center Committee and Board of Commissioners narrowed the options down to two final sites for additional geotechnical evaluation and a phase 1 environmental site assessment. Following that evaluation, the Crown Event Center Committee recommended the final site to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

“We are extremely excited today to be able to share with the community the site that has been selected for this facility,” said Glenn Adams, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “We believe this will be a transformative project, not only for Downtown Fayetteville but for all of Cumberland County as a local and regional asset that is accessible to all and that enhances and elevates our community as a premier destination for entertainment, events and gatherings.”

The Board of Commissioners also approved a contract for architectural services with EwingCole during Monday’s special meeting. EwingCole was recommended as the project architect following a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and interviews with five shortlisted firms by a selection committee comprised of key County staff. The selection committee recommended EwingCole to the Crown Event Center Committee, which voted unanimously to recommend the firm’s selection to the full Board of Commissioners for approval. Commissioners unanimously approved the recommendation during their Nov. 21, 2022, meeting and directed staff to negotiate a contract with EwingCole for consideration at the Nov. 28 special meeting.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Crown Event Center Committee is comprised of Commissioners Jeannette Council (who serves as chair), Jimmy Keefe and Board Chairman Glenn Adams. For more information on the Crown Event Center project, go to https://www.cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/commissioners-group/commissioners/crown-event-center-committee.