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Cover Story

Vision becomes reality


On that rainy Sunday afternoon in the mid-’90s, Molly Arnold looked at the sad shape of a condemned building in downtown Fayetteville.
“I wish they would do something with downtown and these wonderful buildings,” she lamented.
“There is no ‘they,’” said her husband, Bruce. “Why don’t you do something?”
So she did. In 1997, the Arnolds purchased a small building at 227 Hay St. and transformed it into what today is a thriving coffee house.
The revitalization of downtown Fayetteville that gave us the vibrant center city we now treasure didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without the vision of risk-takers like Molly Arnold.
That’s why she and two other downtown pioneers will be recognized with CityView’s 2023 Downtown Visionaries awards, which are being presented for the third year. Other recipients are Mac Healy, who spearheaded the Fayetteville Partnership civic group that helped craft an ambitious roadmap for redevelopment, and Bruce Daws, a walking encyclopedia of Fayetteville’s history and the longtime director of historic properties for the city.
Arnold, Healy and Daws all give credit to many others who invested time and talent to, as Bruce Arnold advised, “do something” for downtown Fayetteville. But there’s no denying that CityView’s three honorees gave their best effort, committed to the cause and, now, can take pride in what they helped accomplish.
Daws says he was just one of “the people around the table helping to put the jigsaw puzzle together.”
Molly Arnold, Mac Healy and Bruce Daws have shown they know how to make the pieces fit.
A luncheon recognizing the 2023 CityView Downtown Visionaries is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 22 at Segra Stadium, 460 Hay St. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com.
For more information, call 910-423-6500 or email cityview@cityviewnc.com.