First Western Bank, U.S. Pizza Co. coming to Springdale

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,169 views 

New consumer options for dining and banking will be arriving on the west side of Springdale next year. An 11,300-square-foot retail shopping center called Sunset West Plaza is in development at 1139 Westside Village St., at the intersection of U.S. Highway 412 west of the Har-Ber Meadows area.

Sunset West FW Plaza LLC, led by Burke Larkin, bought the 1.78-acre lot for $1.02 million, according to county land records. Booneville-based First Western Bank was the seller and also financed the deal with a $2.92 million loan.

Colliers International Arkansas, the state’s largest commercial real estate and property management firm, will manage the property once it’s built, which is expected in the spring of 2019.

“Sunset West Plaza is perfectly positioned for retail success,” said Alan Cole, a principal in Colliers’ Rogers office. “This part of Springdale is growing like wildfire, and we expect this new development to continue to add to the momentum that is already building. Our retail team is pleased to have played a part in bringing this development to fruition.”

Cole has already negotiated leases with two tenants. Little Rock-based restaurant chain U.S. Pizza Co. will occupy 5,000 square feet with a large outdoor patio, and First Western Bank will open a full-service branch in a 3,000-square-foot space. Cole is marketing the remaining 3,400 square feet.

Hunter and Esther McClellan and Don Henderson are U.S. Pizza Co. franchisees and will own the Springdale store. They also own stores in Conway and Cabot. U.S. Pizza Co. has 16 Arkansas locations, 10 of them corporately owned. Judy Waller Breece started the company in 1972 and is still the owner.

“We had looked at opening a location downtown [in Springdale] a little, but it’s not quite there yet,” said Hunter McClellan. “I know it’s going to get there, but the action right now is on [Highway 412]. And that’s where we need to be.”

McClellan, formerly a general manager at the U.S. Pizza Co. restaurant in Fayetteville, and his wife started working for the company more than 20 years ago in central Arkansas.

“I asked her to marry me at the Maumelle store,” he said. “We’re about as U.S. Pizza as you can get.”

McClellan said Northwest Arkansas plans include opening stores in Bentonville and Rogers, but that is at least two years away.

A Springdale office will mark First Western Bank’s entry into the Washington County market. The bank has five offices in Benton County — three in Rogers, one in Bella Vista and the newest in Bentonville, an approximately 5,000-square-foot branch that opened last year.

“We are excited to offer this location to not only meet the needs of many of our current customers already living and working in Washington County, but also to those residents looking for a new way of banking where their needs are first,” said Landon Taylor, president of the bank’s Northwest Arkansas market.

The Springdale branch will give First Western 11 banking location across western and Northwest Arkansas.

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