Fort Smith Pavilion Project On Target

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 767 views 

Construction is moving forward at the Fort Smith Pavilion, the site where developers literally moved a mountain to create space for a Target discount store, among other retail and restaurant offerings.

The project, with a budget of more than $50 million, is on schedule to open in October 2008.

In addition to the 127,000-SF Target, there will be nine 10,000-SF to 15,000-SF spaces for box retailers, six 5,000-SF to 7,000-SF spots for smaller chains and two buildings for restaurants, said developer Matt Lucas, a partner with Texas-based Merchants Holding Co. LLC.

More than 950,000 cubic yards of earth had to be removed to create the space for the center.

The difference in elevation between the front and the back of the site was about 100 feet.

This much site work tacked on a few months to the normal timeline for a similarly sized project.

But despite the earth moving that had to be done, the location was ideal for the retail center, Lucas said, citing the infrastructure development the city had done in the area, including the widening of Phoenix Avenue and Old Greenwood Road.

“If you could put your finger on the dead center of town that would be the spot,” he said.

Though there has been some community protest to the development, Lucas said it was no more than is usual for such a project.

Lucas added that local partners including developer Bennie Westphal and property owner Kelley Properties LP have been ideal partners to work with.

TAG International, which has offices in Texas and Mexico, handled architectural work on the project.