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story.lead_photo.caption Phil Penny, director of the Ozark Offroad Cyclists group, left, and Frank Sharp describe a historic trail through 'Rock City' on Kessler Mountain Friday, April 27, 2012, to a group of city of Fayetteville officials and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members during a tour of the area that property owners and local conservation leaders are working to preserve. - Photo by Andy Shupe

City officials have negotiated a $3 million deal to buy more than 300 acres of woodland on Mount Kessler next to a planned regional park.

At A Glance


The SouthPass project was part of a public-private partnership brokered by former Mayor Dan Coody in 2004.

SouthPass developers John Nock, Richard Alexander, Hank Broyles and Steve Aust agreed to donate 200 acres to the city for a regional park and give $1 million in exchange for the city annexing the property, resolving environmental issues associated with a former landfill and sharing in the cost of extending utilities to the development.

City Council members approved plans for 750 houses, 2,900 apartments, 630 condominiums and 360,000-square-feet of commercial space in 2008. Development never occurred, and Chambers Bank acquired the property in lieu of foreclosure in 2010.

Source: Staff Report

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