Fayetteville developer SREG closes $4.84 million purchase of Farmers Cooperative Property

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 1,922 views 

This rendering depicts a development plan being proposed by Fayetteville developer Specialized Real Estate Group the southwest corner of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South School Avenue in south Fayetteville.

Specialized Real Estate Group (SREG) of Fayetteville has completed a land purchase in south Fayetteville for property it plans to redevelop.

In two separate deals, SREG paid a combined $4.84 million for approximately eight acres at the southwest corner of the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South School Avenue.

The property is largely occupied by Farmers Cooperative, which received $4.25 million for land it has owned for nearly 20 years. The transaction was part of a 1031 exchange, a move that allows sellers to avoid capital gains taxes when selling a property, as long as they buy a similar property with the profits.

SREG also acquired a small parcel of less than an acre from the Shen Family Irrevocable Trust for $595,000.

In May, SREG announced its redevelopment plans for the property. The development company plans to reuse four existing main buildings on the eight-acre property as part of a development that will contain food and beverage establishments, entertainment, small office and retail space. The existing buildings are situated along an arc running from north to southwest — the trace of a long-gone rail line that once served the local timber and produce industries. A new boardwalk will follow the route of the old rail line.

Around 220 new apartments will be added along South School Avenue.

“This property has been a meeting place for a long time, and we know that it is significant to the neighborhood and to folks around the region.” Specialized Real Estate Group CEO Jeremy Hudson said in a statement announcing the project. “We are thankful for this opportunity to bring new life to such an important place. We intend to honor the agricultural and industrial heritage of the site as we add new housing and small businesses.”

SREG is partnering with Fayetteville design firm Modus Studio on the project. The two companies have partnered on other successful adaptive reuse projects including Eco Modern Flats, 15 North Church Avenue, and 200 West Center Street, the home of Arsaga’s Church and Center.

An SREG spokesperson said the firm expects its development plans to be considered by the Fayetteville Planning Commission in August.

FARMERS FUTURE
The Fayetteville Co-Op is one of 18 retail locations operated in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas by Van Buren-based Farmers Co-Op Association. President Matt Crabtree, the owner of Crabtree Farms in Van Buren, said the Fayetteville Co-Op’s last day in business is July 31.

He said the Farmers Co-Op’s new home in Northwest Arkansas will be on a four-acre site along Highway 62 in Prairie Grove. The organization paid $350,000 for the land and the previous property owner, Mark Silva, is leading the construction of two new buildings, the main building measuring about 6,000 square feet, as well as a hay barn.

“We are trying to get the [development] plans through the city right now, but we hope to be in at that location before the end of the calendar year, at the latest,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree said there are other opportunities to add additional stores in Northwest Arkansas. With part of the money from the SREG deal, Crabtree said the Farmers Co-Op also acquired a 46,000-square-foot warehouse in Lincoln to serve as a distribution center for feed and supplies.

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