Ex-Razorback administrator joins commercial real estate fray in Rogers

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 5,635 views 

This architectural rendering depicts Equity Storage at 3909 W. Ajax Ave. in Rogers.

After more than a decade living in Northwest Arkansas, Chris Wyrick of Rogers is trying his hand at commercial real estate development.

Wyrick is taking an upscale approach to a new self-storage and business center facility in Rogers. It’s called Equity Storage and will include roughly 73,000 square feet of storage space. That will blend with what Wyrick believes will be unique to the region’s self-storage market — an adjoining 16,000-square-foot business and conference center.

“My family and I are very blessed to live and work in Northwest Arkansas,” Wyrick said. “The ability to own and operate a small business in Rogers after living in Northwest Arkansas since 2008 is simply a dream come true. With Equity Storage and the J. Conrad Business Center, we look forward to redefining the storage industry with our two-story, all climate-controlled facility.”

Wyrick said the business center name is an homage to his late father, J. Conrad Wyrick. Construction has started and is expected to be completed early next year.

The project site is on 5.71 acres at 3909 W. Ajax Ave., at the intersection of South Bellview Road east of Interstate 49. Wyrick bought the land through a limited liability company earlier this year for $1.35 million.

Wil-Shar Steel of Rogers is the general contractor. Bentonville architect Dave Burris is leading the design. It will feature two stories of approximately 200 climate-controlled units of varying sizes and drive-in access for interior loading and unloading.

Equity Storage will also include an elevator. Wyrick believes the building will be the first fully climate-controlled, two-story storage facility in the region.

Wyrick said the facility will cater to families and companies. The business center will include two large conference rooms and additional meeting space, a lounge/entertainment area and modular rooms for vendors.

“Having a place where homeowners, business owners and vendors can conduct business within the same space they store their products and belongings is a service that should be available in our community. We look forward to establishing that in Northwest Arkansas,” he said.

The building permit value issued by the city for the project is $7.8 million. Generations Bank of Rogers is providing financing with a 10-year construction mortgage worth $4.05 million.

Wyrick, a North Carolina native, is a longtime college athletics administrator and fundraiser. He spent eight years working at the University of Arkansas, first for the athletics department (2008-2011), then as director of the Razorback Foundation (2012) and finally as the UA’s top fundraising administrator as vice chancellor for university advancement (2013-2016). He previously worked at North Carolina State, Miami (Ohio), Vanderbilt and South Carolina before coming to Arkansas.

Since resigning from the UA, Wyrick has worked at Hunt Ventures in Rogers. He oversees special projects for the development firm headed up by J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. co-founder and philanthropist Johnelle Hunt. A primary responsibility of his is managing Hunt Chapel at Pinnacle Memorial Gardens in southwest Rogers. Hunt Ventures developed and built the cemetery and accompanying 3,000-square-foot Hunt Chapel, which hosts a variety of weddings, receptions and other events. It opened in 2012.