New wall, retail development approved by Fort Chaffee board

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 974 views 

Chaffee Crossing will soon boast a 15-foot stone-look wall that will be visible from Zero Street. The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority Board of Trustees on Thursday (July 16) approved the sale of 19 acres on Massard Road to Chaffee Commercial Properties for $57,000.

The property is east of property owned by Chaffee Commercial Properties, Massard Missionary Baptist Church and Norris & Kendrick, LLC. The property is divided by 30 feet of trail that is part of the trail system at Chaffee Crossing, with 16 acres on the west side of the trail and three on the east, said Daniel Mann, FCRA executive director and CEO.

The larger tract of land will be used for a small retail development with a large wall separating it from the trail. The three acres on the east side of the trail will remain public green space by the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center.

The 15-foot wall will feature landscaping. It will be made by Industrial Precast in Fort Smith with a stone look and topped by a wrought iron.

“It will allow for a real nice view from atop the hill,” said Rod Blake, who along with Steve Beam is purchasing the property. “It is all about aesthetics. You will be able to see from Zero Street as you go over the hill from Ben Geren (Regional Park).”

Mann said Blake and Beam and FCRA would work with Sebastian County Judge David Hudson and the parks department to make certain the wall would be an enhancement to the area.

“This will set the standard for walls in Fort Smith,” Mann said. “It is great that we have partners willing to put in something for public space.”

The board also approved a resolution concerning FCRA’s application for Federal-Aid Recreational Trails Funds. FCRA has applied for a grant that would bring them $349,000 from the fund to develop and improve the Chaffee Crossing Train System. The grant is an 80/20 grant, and if awarded would require FCRA to contribute almost $70,000. The money would add another six and half miles of bike trails, parking areas, bike racks, bike repair stations and lighting, Mann said. FCRA should be notified in October or November if they will receive the funds.

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