Multimillion-dollar tennis, fitness center nears opening in Lowell

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 4,389 views 

This aerial photo taken earlier this year shows the Matrix Racquet Club under construction at 1219 Mills Lane in Lowell, west of Interstate 49.

A 23-court racquet facility and health and fitness center under construction in Lowell, a private funding product, is nearing its grand opening.

Shannon Hudson, her fiancé Johan den Toom, and her mother Barbara Hudson are the developers behind Matrix Racquet Club, an 11-acre complex at 1219 Mills Lane, west of Interstate 49. It has indoor and outdoor courts for tennis, pickleball courts and the first padel courts in Arkansas. Padel is played in doubles on a smaller version of a tennis court, surrounded by glass walls, combining elements of tennis, squash and badminton.

Hudson and den Toom are former University of Arkansas tennis players who graduated in 2018. Besides racquet sports, Hudson said other Matrix amenities include fitness studios, healthy cafes, adult and junior programming, cardio tennis, a spin theater, massage therapy, an active-wear boutique, information seminars and social events.

“When members come to Matrix, we want to be a one-stop shop for them,” Hudson said.

The outdoor courts at Matrix are expected to open in July, Hudson said. The buildings and indoor facilities will be open by September.

According to property records, Walter Hudson and his wife Barbara Hudson bought the Mills Lane property in January 2018 for $775,000. The deal involved two parcels totaling 19.3 acres. The Hudsons deeded approximately 11 acres to Matrix Racquet Club LLC in late 2018.

Shannon Hudson

In October 2018, Springdale-based Legacy National Bank gave the LLC an 18-month construction loan worth $4.5 million. Prairie Grove-based Steadfast Contracting used a building permit valued at $11.1 million to build the complex.

Shannon Hudson said she is not related to the Hudson family that owns Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers. A Virginia native, Hudson said she and her fiancé, who is from the Netherlands, grew to love Northwest Arkansas while attending the UA.

“We didn’t want to leave,” she said. “And facilities like this exist in Virginia. We wanted to develop something in Northwest Arkansas. The type of programming that we want to have is not as prominent here, and the tennis community is underserved.”

Matrix charges an initiation fee for memberships right now but is waiving monthly dues until the indoor complex is complete.

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