All-cash land purchase starts Pinnacle Village mixed-use development in Rogers

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 10,175 views 

Two Arkansas families with strong legacies in the construction and real estate industries have announced plans to build a walkable, urban neighborhood in the rapidly changing Pinnacle Hills area west of Interstate 49 in Rogers.

In an all-cash purchase, a group of limited liability companies acquired approximately 27 acres of undeveloped land along South Pinnacle Hills Parkway for $5.8 million. The purchase price equals $5 per square foot.

The property, previously owned by Bill Adams, is directly south of a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

The two largest partners of the investment group are the Alley family and the Blass family of Little Rock. Sam Alley is chairman and CEO of VCC Construction of Little Rock. The Blass family has been involved in Arkansas business for more than a century and founded Little Rock-based Capital Properties, which was merged in 2016 with commercial real estate firm Sage Partners and the property management and leasing division of Hunt Ventures — the longtime Rogers developer headed up by philanthropist Johnelle Hunt. The merged entity is known collectively as Sage Partners.

Alex Blass, a partner in Sage Partners’ Rogers office in Hunt Tower, was the lead developer of the land purchase and organizer of the project team. VCC Construction will be the builder, Miller Boskus Lack Architects of Fayetteville is the architect and HFA of Bentonville is doing the engineering work.

“The Alley family has done developments across the country, either as a general contractor or as a developer, and my family has been involved in projects, as well,” Blass said. “This will our family’s first large-scale project in Northwest Arkansas.”

Sage Partners will independently broker and manage the commercial properties within the project, which is being dubbed Pinnacle Village. Blass said the project will be built over multiple phases, and the land will be developed for a number of uses, including residential, commercial, community space and entertainment.

He said he expects to apply for rezoning with the city next month. Infrastructure work could begin later this fall.

Alex Blass

“I am excited about this opportunity to work with the city of Rogers,” Blass said. “I commend Mayor [Greg] Hines, the city council and the planning commission. The recently-adopted zoning ordinances in Rogers keep pedestrians in mind and will allow us to design the kind of walkable urban neighborhood that the Pinnacle [Hills] area needs.”

VCC Construction has built a number of projects in Northwest Arkansas, including the nearby Country Club Plaza. Alley said the vision for Pinnacle Village is only possible because of the work of Johnelle Hunt, who is playing a major role in the development of west Rogers.

A notable project scheduled to break ground later this year is the $100 million Pinnacle Heights development, a new urban” project at the Pauline Whitaker Parkway roundabout. Hunt Ventures is also leasing 11 acres on nearby South J.B. Hunt Drive to Dallas-based Topgolf, which announced earlier this year its plans to build on the site.

Hunt was also a notable contributor to the development of the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP) in Pinnacle Hills, which opened four years ago. She donated the land for the outdoor music venue, as well as a $3 million interest free loan.

Blass said the Pinnacle Village development will be thoughtful. Site plans are mostly still in development, he said.

“Our intention is to develop the land the right way and taking our time,” he said. “That’s why we [bought it] with cash. There’s a lot of product coming into the market that has either been announced or soon will be, and we are cognizant of what is being planned in the area. We want to be smart and responsible with what we are doing.”

Blass said a lender to finance Phase I of development has not been determined.