FCRA approves property deal for high-end homes near new ArcBest HQ

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 346 views 

The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) on Thursday (Feb. 19) approved the sale of more than 50 acres that could within the next few years be the location of a subdivision featuring expensive homes just north of where ArcBest plans to build its new corporate headquarters.

The deal, valued at $778,400, or about $14,000 an acre, is between the FCRA and Provenance Properties. Rod Coleman, former president of ERC Properties, is the agent for Provenance, which would be an ERC Companies property. The deal is also contingent upon the FCRA providing water and sewer access and the completion of a road connecting the property to Wells Lake Road.

A deadline for closing the transaction was set for Nov. 1, 2015, which provides time for the road to be completed.

Also, the deal gives Provenance the right of first refusal for one year from the date of closing on around 50 acres adjacent to the property. Provenance would have to match the price of competing offer, said FCRA Trustee Galen Hunter.

Hunter said homes along the ridge line of the property that looks north and west toward Fort Smith could be priced around $500,000 or more, with the home prices declining through the eastern section of the property.

“This is probably some of the best residential property we have,” Hunter said of the location and the views.

Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. – formerly known as Arkansas Best Corp. – announced May 30 a $30 million plan that will see the construction of a new office building and data center at Chaffee Crossing and the addition of an estimated 975 corporate jobs by 2021.

The FCRA also agreed to sell 10 acres to Steve Beam (Beam Properties) for development of duplexes. The property is located on the Barling side of Fort Chaffee along Arkansas 59 and H Street. The 10 acres, if the deal goes through, would sell for $90,000.

A deal to proceed on the sale of 2.04 acres at the corner of Massard Road and Chad Colley Boulevard was also approved by the FCRA. Southland Management Group is interested in buying the property to build a convenience store.

Ivy Owen, FCRA executive director, said around 2,500 acres are still available for sale or donation on the property that was once part of Fort Chaffee. He said about 20% of the remaining property is slated for residential development, with about 25% for commercial and retail use. The remaining is industrial or mixed use.

Land donations are typically reserved for large projects. For example, the FCRA in early 2014 donated 200 acres – valued at $4 million – for development of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The college, estimated to cost around $31 million for the first phase of construction, anticipates accepting its first class of 150 students in the fall of 2016.