Schmieding Produce parent company acquires land near I-49 in Springdale, signaling possible expansion

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,610 views 

One of Springdale’s oldest businesses may be making plans to build a new headquarters closer to Interstate 49.

According to a recent real estate filing, the parent company of H.C. Schmieding Produce Co., a wholesale distributor of fruits and vegetables, has acquired 8.8 acres west of the interstate just north of Don Tyson Parkway.

Florida-based Woerner Holdings Inc. (WHI), which has holdings in real estate, agriculture and financial securities investments, paid $2.25 million ($5.88 per square foot) for the property. The seller was Todd Murner, founder and president of The Rock of Northwest Arkansas, a non-denominational church in Springdale.

Legacy National Bank of Springdale funded the deal with a $1.8 million loan, and Jeff Pederson with Lindsey and Associates of Fayetteville brokered the deal.

H.C. Schmieding, acquired by WHI in April 2015 for an undisclosed amount, ships potatoes for a network of growers, and also supplies watermelons, carrots, pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables to processors, chain stores and terminal markets throughout the country. The company is now based at 2230 N. Thompson St. in Springdale.

The late Lawrence H. Schmieding, who died in 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer, started the produce company in 1961. He was later CEO of the Schmieding Foundation, well-known for its philanthropic efforts, which largely focused on programs for children and the elderly.

Chris Gryskiewicz, chief financial officer of WHI, said the company is evaluating its options for the land and declined to comment on potential development.

Development in Springdale west of I-49 and north of Don Tyson Parkway is beginning to pick up. Arkansas Children’s Northwest opened its new campus in February, and plans were filed recently to build a 75,000-square-foot office building in an adjacent lot.