Imagine living just steps away from some of the best action in Fayetteville including baseball, outdoor concerts and festivals.
Now, think about walking outside your front door to grab lunch or meet friends for drinks after work.
More than 200 residents can do just that while living in downtown Fayetteville.
Isaac Halverson and Ashley Tang-Halverson, who live in the carriage houses at Pennmark Place Townhomes, are among the many who have recently moved downtown. They bought their home last year, two months after they were married.
Isaac, 29, is a lawyer at the Ray Law Firm; Ashley, 28, is a fourth-grade teacher at Howard Hall Elementary School.
The thought of living downtown was sparked when Isaac walked around the area after his interview for a job at the law firm, which is at 345 Hay St.
“Downtown left a good impression,” says Isaac, who was one of the first to rent an apartment at the Residences at the Prince Charles in 2019. “As I was walking around, I saw the new apartment complex opening at the Prince Charles, so when things worked out with the job, I moved in.”
He said living at the Prince Charles, a historic building that was renovated for apartments, was exciting.
Isaac now serves on the board of directors of Cool Spring Downtown District, a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2017 to sustain downtown as an arts and entertainment district. He and his wife love life at Pennmark Place.
“There is no shortage of restaurants right outside our front door. We never have to go far,” says Ashley, who joked that her husband doesn’t have to go far for work. His office is in the same block as their home.
“The commute is not too bad,” he says.
The newlyweds also have access to their share of entertainment downtown. They became fans of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in the baseball team’s first season while living at the Prince Charles, where they could see the Segra Stadium fireworks from the roof.
“We love going to the farmers market on Saturdays. We go to the baseball games pretty regularly, and some days will go for both lunch and dinner at Blue Moon Cafe,” Ashley says.
It means more for Ashley, too, that they live in a location with sentimental meaning for her family.
Her grandfather, Hugh Cameron, retired as head pastor at Hay Street United Methodist Church, where Isaac and Ashley recently attended the Easter Sunday service. The church is across the street from their home.
“After Isaac got the job here, my mom realized that was where not only her dad had been pastor in the early ’90s but my parents had been married in 1992,” Ashley says.
Both Isaac and Ashley say they love the downtown community.
“It’s a great place to live and hang out with friends. It’s a pretty unique experience,” Isaac says.
“The energy downtown feels like they are on the precipice of really taking off. It’s really exciting to see the new residents and businesses in this can-do city,” Ashley adds.
Retired soldier and runner Shawn Wussow, 48, lives in the Residences at the Prince Charles. His is one of the top apartments facing Hay Street United Methodist Church.
Wussow, who takes prize-worthy photos of sunrises and downtown activity for his Instagram page, has incorporated a morning ritual at The Coffee Scene on the first floor of the Prince Charles. He poses there for a daily selfie showing his trendy socks and matching sunglasses with a painting of a woman in the background.
“She’s become my coffee BFF,” he says with a laugh, adding that the baristas start making his coffee order as he walks in the door. He helps them put out the chairs and tables on the sidewalk.
With an infectious smile, Wussow says living downtown is just fun.
“I toured the building before it was even completed and was one of the first residents,” Wussow says. “I was in the market to find a small but nice place and was familiar with downtown through my running club.’’
Wussow has developed a strong community with his neighbors, business owners and the Fayetteville Running Club, of which he is president. He organizes three races throughout Fayetteville, including two downtown, and about 10 running meet-ups a week in the downtown area.
“We even do a pub run every Sunday at Bright Light,” says Wussow, who has his own mug there that the bartenders grab to fill when they see him coming in with his running club friends.
He frequents the coffee shops, breweries and restaurants downtown as well as Cameo Art House Theatre.
“My favorite thing about living downtown is that downtown is my front yard, and I treat it as such,” Wussow says. “I know the people, who are my neighbors and friends. I know the routines. We even get to see the Woodpeckers games as a perk from the Prince Charles. I love going out on the roof to see it all.”
Several shops and restaurants downtown have apartments or condos above. There are also established housing developments like the Residences at the Prince Charles and Park View. Three new developments are underway for another 226,000 square feet of residential space. That includes 212 new residential units above the Hay Street parking garage. RAJJ Investments is developing units off Adams Street. The Ammons Group has a project along Donaldson Street that is set to be completed by the end of the year.
Wussow says he is thinking of moving to the units above the parking garage when they become available.
“It’s a new view, a newer facility, and we’ve been told it will have a pool on the rooftop,” says Wussow, who adds it will be managed by the same company as his current apartment complex.
Between the variety of housing options and the proximity to entertainment and restaurants, downtown residents have built a community and made the heart of the city their home.