A concept design for the new Crown Event Center to be located in downtown Fayetteville was approved Monday by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
The three-story building includes a two-story lobby and a rooftop terrace facing Gillespie Street, which will serve as the front of the building, according to a Cumberland County news release. The approved layout also includes a main event hall that can fit 3,000 attendees, more meeting and event space on the first floor and VIP spaces on the second floor, the release said.
The event center will be built on county-owned property in front of the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Cumberland County Courthouse downtown and will replace the Crown Theatre and Arena, which must close by Oct. 31, 2025.
In a presentation at the board’s meeting Monday, Brian Haney, assistant county manager for General Government and Stewardship, announced that the design incorporates a 0.31-acre property at 115 E. Russell St. that is adjacent to the county-owned site that was chosen for the event center, the release said. The parcel currently includes the Yarborough, Winters & Neville law firm, and Haney said the county acquired it to allow for enhanced efficiencies related to the design and operation of the event center.
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Project budget revised
Commissioners also approved a recommended building program and revised project budget on the consent agenda. The new estimate of 131,500 square feet is more than the 89,000 square feet originally planned for the facility, the release said. It includes elements that weren’t included in the 2021 study, such as a larger performance space, more VIP space and additional meeting and event space that can be rented out and will allow for multiple events to take place at the same time.
The board also approved a Capital Project Budget Ordinance Amendment that incorporates a total project budget of $131,703,300 and a budgeted transfer of $2.5 million from the food and beverage fund to cover costs incurred before the debt issuance, the release said. The updated cost is based partly on the increased space but is also due to inflation.
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