ERC announced Tuesday (Sept. 5) the rollout of Stonecrest — an $8 million luxury duplex development at Chaffee Crossing. The units will be located at Wells Lake Road. and Custer Boulevard across the street from the River Valley Nature Center.
The homes will be constructed, owned, and managed by Marion Driscoll Custom Homes and Danny Meadows Construction. Both companies are builders in Fort Smith and surrounding markets. Duplexes will begin leasing in the second quarter of 2018. ERC’s role is in the buying of the land.
“ERC develops the lots, puts all the utilities in, and sells to the builders that want to come in and build,” said ERC’s Rod Coleman.
Coleman told Talk Business & Politics the development will consist of a pond, sodded yards, granite countertops, two-car garages, and two full baths in all units, which will be a mix of two and three bedrooms with 64 total units across 32 buildings.
While building plans are being finalized, each structure will be between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet, placing individual unit size somewhere between 1,500-2,000 square feet. Rents will run approximately $1,100-$1,400 per month. Length of leases will be “up to the builders,” Coleman added, but “mainly in Fort Smith, we see yearly leases because property owners want to see some continuity.”
The addition will also offer a fully functional dog park built by ERC and conveyed to the Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Department for ownership and operations. The park will be available to all residents living in Fort Smith and the surrounding area.
When asked about the driving force for another luxury development at Chaffee Crossing, Coleman said builder Justin Underwood’s success with The Haven played a part. Underwood has rented 38 of the 46 units available so far and has two additional contracts in place, leaving just six available units after opening for business in April. He has plans to build a total of 94 at the development.
“These are great builders doing a great product, and people are moving out here because they really just want to be part of Chaffee,” Coleman said.
Stonecrest will be the fifth residential neighborhood developed by ERC in the Chaffee Crossing district. Past developments include The Haven, Highland Crossing, Avalon, and Providence. At a recent meeting of the capital improvement plan (CIP) advisory committee for streets, bridges, and associated drainage, Coleman estimated the company had invested around $40 million in the Chaffee Crossing district. ERC has built single-family additions in the southern and midwestern United States since 1957.
Ivy Owen, executive director of Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) called ERC “a first-class developer that continues to raise the bar for residential neighborhoods in Chaffee Crossing,” adding the company is “bringing new levels of luxury lifestyle to our city that appeal to every generation.”
“As more and more people move into Fort Smith, we find these are the types of living spaces and neighborhoods they are demanding,” Owen said.
More focus has shifted to the east side of Fort Smith and Chaffee Crossing in particular since 2013 when Interstate 49 construction in the area mobilized. Recent additions include a new corporate headquarters for ArcBest that will add 975 new jobs and the continuing development of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, which opened in late July to the first class of 150 medical students at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. ACHE expects to add a new class of 150 each year. In June, officials from the medical school announced a planned zoning development around the college along with a second building — the Arkansas College of Health Sciences, slated to open its doors in 2020.