Editor’s note: A previous version of this story has been updated to include additional details about the property transaction.
Little Rock-based USAble Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is expanding in Northwest Arkansas.
The company closed a deal Wednesday (Nov. 20) to pay $3.8 million for 8.81 acres near the northwest corner of the Don Tyson Parkway/Interstate 49 interchange in Springdale.
The deal was announced by the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. Florida-based Woerner Holdings Inc. (WHI), which has holdings in real estate, agriculture and financial securities investments, was the seller. Woerner, the parent company of H.C. Schmieding Produce Co., a wholesale distributor of fruits and vegetables, paid $2.25 million ($5.88 per square foot) for the property in March 2018.
The land will be developed to support a growing Arkansas Blue Cross team of employees in Northwest Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross spokeswoman Max Greenwood said the company has roughly 40 employees in Northwest Arkansas.
Details for the office still are being finalized, according to the announcement. Groundbreaking is expected in the spring of 2020.
Arkansas Blue Cross is the largest health insurance provider in the state. The company headquarters will remain in Little Rock, with additional retail and regional locations in Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Texarkana.
“Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield has served Arkansans for more than 70 years now and our commitment to its citizens and communities continues,” Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross, said in a statement. “As Northwest Arkansas has continued to grow, our customer base has grown as well and we want to be sure we are serving members and communities at the highest level.”
Arkansas Blue Cross has provided sales and service in Northwest Arkansas directly for more than 40 years, with a full-service regional office providing individual and group sales and service, medical management and provider services since 1994.
“This is a tremendous announcement for Springdale,” Springdale Chamber President Perry Webb said in a statement. “The infrastructure investment made by our city along I-49 continues to pay major dividends with significant private development like this by USAble.”
Arkansas Blue Cross has two retail locations in Fayetteville and Lowell to provide direct access to health insurance experts for people purchasing individual and family health, dental and vision products in Northwest Arkansas.