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Fayetteville to get signature waterfall entrance

The look of the intersection at Grady Avenue and Ga. Highway 54 in Fayetteville is about to undergo a dramatic change.

The Shoppes at Grady retail center, built a few years ago but never occupied, is now owned by Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain. The center is being renamed “Waterfall” and the reason for the change will soon be obvious.

Destined to become a health and wellness and professional center with a restaurant on the corner, project representative Gary Gettis said Truett Cathy likes the property and is intent on it becoming a destination and a showplace for the city of Fayetteville.

“We think the intersection of Grady Avenue and Hwy. 54 is the gateway to the city and we want to make a statement for Fayetteville and Fayette County,” Gettis said. “This is going to be a destination and a head-turner.”

Heads will turn once the signature feature of the center, a large arc-shaped waterfall, is installed at the corner of Grady and Hwy. 54. Gettis said the structure will be 8 to 9 feet in height and 70 feet in length.

“It will be highly visible and highly recognizable and it’s going to physically improve the property,” Gettis said. “The Waterfall center demonstrates Truett Cathy’s desire to make the center a destination and to supply the distinction that will make it a showplace.”

Gettis reiterated that the center will accommodate offices for doctors, dentists and attorneys. But the business nearest the corner of Grady and Hwy. 54 is being targeted for a restaurant, the only retail offering at Waterfall. The reason, said Gettis, is because the restaurant will be near the corner of the property and will include a large fenced and landscaped brick plaza that will feature the the other side of the waterfall, complete with a private fountain and a raised pool.

“It will be an incredible experience,” Gettis said of the plaza area for outdoor dining that is expected to provide seating for 40 just outside the restaurant.

Gettis said that, if at all possible, Cathy is intent on keeping the large red oak, “Samson,” in place in the plaza area. Offsetting the large tree and across the plaza are two large specimen trees along with more plants near the waterfall/fountain area and large evergreen shrubs outside the fenced plaza.

The center in recent weeks has already seen the addition of a substantial number of flowers and shrubs and the installation of 49 new trees with the potential for others to be added, Gettis said. The roundabout inside the center will also be dramatically improved with raised beds and heavy landscaping, Gettis added.

Gettis said work on the signature waterfall is currently being engineered with construction expected to begin in approximately one month.

“From time to time Mr. Cathy makes a personal investment in real estate,” Gettis said. “He wants Waterfall to be a place of distinction and a destination.”

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