One of Bentonville’s oldest businesses has been sold and is going out of business, possibly making way for more development in the city’s Market District.
Bentonville Casting Co., founded in 1954, has been sold, according to Bentonville Community and Economic Development Director Troy Galloway. Galloway was responding Monday (March 20) to a question from the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal regarding demolition of the company’s 80,000-square-foot warehouse on the 10-acre site at the northwest corner of Southeast J and Southeast 8th streets. The knocking down of the building was taking place over the weekend.
“A demolition permit was issued [for the property],” Galloway wrote in an email. “[I have] no idea what’s going in its place at this point.”
A woman who answered the telephone at Bentonville Casting confirmed news of the company’s sale and imminent closure. She said she was an employee but did not want to be identified. She also said the company was essentially “tying up loose ends” before closing in the coming weeks. She estimated the company had approximately 70 employees, “but those jobs are all gone.”
Other questions from the Business Journal were referred to company owner/president Christopher Hines. He was not available for comment.
Bentonville Casting manufactures and distributes cast iron, steel and other parts. The property — bounded to the north and east by the Razorback Regional Greenway — is owned by Hines Family Trust, according to Benton County real estate records. It appraised last year for $2.3 million, and its location makes it an appealing position for development.
The land is adjacent to the 8th Street Market, which stretches about 10 acres along 8th Street in the city’s Market District, southeast of the downtown square. The new destination is intended to showcase culinary education, music and the arts, new restaurant and hospitality venues and other specialized food and drink concepts.
The 8th Street Market, which will officially open in June with the two-day Bite NW Arkansas food festival, is anchored by NorthWest Arkansas Community College’s Brightwater culinary school.
Redevelopment of the 8th Street Market site—which previously housed an abandoned Tyson Foods plant — began after Tyson Foods sold the property to an LLC led by the Walton family in the summer of 2013.
Additionally, the Eighth Street Improvement Project will eventually make the east-west corridor a major traffic artery in the city. The multi-year project is ramping up to begin later this year, and will widen the road from two lanes to five from Southwest I Street to Moberly Lane.