The Paul Lawing House, now the home of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce is located at 1019 Hay Street and was built around 1900. The 6,000-square-foot house was once a residence until Paul Lawing bought it and converted it into a commercial building.
The remodeling started in January 2005, and Lawing and his company, National Gas Distributors ordered work done that swelled beyond the original $150,000 budget to over $1,000,000. Lawing initially paid for the extra work, but quit paying after September 2005, shortly after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast and put his company into bankruptcy.
By the end of that year the Don Jessup had quit working on the house and borrowed money to pay the subcontractors. Jessup then sued Lawing for the unpaid bills and won a $1 million judgment and got the house in a foreclosure auction.
When Lawing’s natural gas brokerage collapsed leaving over $70 million in debt after being caught on the wrong side of millions of dollars in gas futures trades as a result of the hurricanes. Lawing ultimately pleaded guilty of fraud and mail fraud in U.S. District Court and was sentence to 7 years.