Bentonville developer Jake Newell, principal of Newell Development, is leading a group of investors who’ve started a $15 million mixed-use project two blocks east of the square along East Central Avenue in downtown Bentonville.
The Howard is the name of the development. It will include 81 upscale apartments with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options and commercial space on the ground level.
Trailside Partners LLC bought the property — four parcels totaling 1.34 acres — last year from Fayetteville developer Specialized Real Estate Group for $2.51 million. Multiple investors have a stake in Trailside, including Ray Osment, Randy Woodard and Ted Herget of Jonesboro and Newell.
Paragould-based First National Bank is backing construction with a $14.78 million loan.
Wheelhouse Real Estate Management, Newell Development’s property management platform, will manage the property. Other companies involved with the development include Grundfest Construction, Hufft Architecture and Environmental Design Group. Pre-leasing will begin this fall with occupancy in the fall of 2021.
“Our team is excited to add more downtown housing units that allow residents access to trails, downtown [Bentonville] square, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, and so many amazing dining opportunities,” Newell said. “Our design team has done an incredible job designing a building that engages the [Razorback Regional] Greenway trail and brings an old park to life at the end of Southeast Second Street.”
Brad Kingsley of Hufft Architecture said the location and design were strategic to fit the changing needs of the downtown Bentonville community.
“It was important to the project developers and design team that the building have a strong connection to the Razorback Greenway, granting residents access to a 40-mile trail system that bridges major commercial, cultural and recreation destinations in the region,” Kingsley said. “The building was oriented to face the trail with shared public outdoor space, as well as private patios that enhance the recreational experience. Ultimately, the goal is to help promote cycling as a form of alternate transportation and downplay the reliance on vehicles while increasing residents’ quality of life. Special attention was also paid to the stormwater drainage and landscaping strategy to ensure the project contributes to the overall health of the creek and waterways.”
The Howard will include several community spaces available to residents including office and conference room space, fitness area, outdoor patio and lounge area. All upper-level apartments may be accessed via elevator.
The project will make an investment in partnership with the city to help build the “Quilt of Parks” project at the end of Southeast Second Street. All units will have valet trash and a “Smart Tech Bundle” which includes remote access to thermostat, select locks and lighting.
Other Newell Development properties in Bentonville include Depot No. 16, The Village, Brownstones on B, several homes in the Arts District, and the Arts District Building. The company also has a core urban development project in south Fayetteville.