The city of Centerton agreed at auction Thursday (Feb. 28) to purchase a 20-acre lot on Keller Road in Centerton for $598,840. The purchase price equals $0.34 per square foot.
Thursday’s absolute real estate auction was conducted by Hot Springs-based Wilson Auctioneers Inc., and included three parcels totaling about 38.3 acres at the northwest corner of Keller Road and Arkansas Highway 102. Norm Banwarth paid $919,160 for the remaining two tracts, which includes a 1,988-square-foot residence and frontage along Highway 102. The purchase price of that property equals $0.55 per square foot.
Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards said the fast-growing city will develop the 20-acre site but a specific use hasn’t been determined. He mentioned the possibility of additional sports fields. The city built the 17-acre Kinyon Sports Complex off Gamble Road near Centerton Gamble Elementary School in the past two years. It has four fields for baseball or softball and a multipurpose field for football or soccer.
“For a city with 18,000 people, that ain’t many ballfields,” he said. “We’re growing like crazy and we thought this would be a good investment.”
The 38-acre site was once a turkey farm and homestead owned by Laurence Keller. The owner at the time of the auction was Keller’s daughter, Connie Cloe, president of Jack White Hatcheries Inc. The land has been family owned since 1964 and is currently zoned for agriculture use.
Chuck Dicus, a Wilson Auctioneers agent, said he showed the property to several prospective bidders from Arkansas and surrounding states in the weeks leading up to the auction.
“As soon as the [auction] signs went up, the phone started ringing, and we had some offers,” he said. “But the seller trusted the auction method and the outcome far exceeded her expectations.”