Five parcels totaling 1.4 acres on Dickson Street in downtown Fayetteville have been purchased by a private investment group for $4.4 million.
An entity called 151 Dickson Development LLC paid $72.15 per square foot for the land at 151 W. Dickson St. The site is directly across the street from the flagship location of Collier Drug Store, a regional pharmacy chain, and is bounded by Church Ave. to the west and Block Avenue to the east.
The deal closed June 23, according to Washington County real estate records.
The LLC was represented in the deal by Fayetteville real estate executive Tim Stein, an executive broker at Bassett Mix & Associates.
Stein said the buyer is a group of investors led by James Chase of Colorado. Chase is an alum of the University of Arkansas, Stein said, who had been looking for an attractive investment in the region.
“Ultimately, we want to develop the property into a mixed-use type of building,” Stein told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “The zoning for the property [Main Street/Center] is pretty lax, so we want to use it to its full advantage.”
A five-year mortgage of $3.96 million was arranged through Zane Ludwick with Arvest Bank in Fayetteville.
Mel Collier was the previous owner of the site. Collier, the owner of Collier Drug Store, acquired the land three years ago for $2.7 million, with a plan to develop the site primarily for parking, with a capacity for about 200 vehicles.
He said city officials weren’t receptive to the development plan, and he wasn’t interested in any other type of improvement.
“I didn’t buy it to build something,” Collier said. “I didn’t want to be a landlord. I didn’t have the time or finances to battle [the city] on it, so be it. Dickson Street needs parking, and that’s where we needed it.”
The location includes one vacant structure — a former law office used by Lamar Pettus — and 50 to 60 parking spaces, but is primarily bare land, grass and trees. The site belonged to former developer Brandon Barber, who proposed building a nine-story hotel and condo project on the land more than a decade ago.
Stein said the new owner would likely remodel the Pettus building — approximately 4,800 square feet — as part of the future site development. He said the start of any sort of activity is still about three years away.
Collier had the property listed with Martha Haguewood of Fayetteville-based Lindsey and Associates.
Collier said he “didn’t charge them much,” but he had been renting out the site’s parking spaces to a couple of Dickson Street area restaurants to use for valet parking. Stein said the new owners are working with local businesses to allow them to continue to park on the property.
Collier said he wishes the new owners success.
“We’re for anything that brings traffic to Dickson Street,” he said. “As long as it encourages people to come here. I would love that and there’s not a merchant on Dickson Street that would argue that.”
The purchase represents the second notable real estate acquisition in the Dickson Street area in the past two weeks. A real estate investment trust (REIT) managed by California-based SmartStop Asset Management announced June 28 the purchase of The District, a 198-unit, 592-bed student housing property at 376 W. Watson St., one block north of the Dickson Street