Is Amazon planning a Northwest Arkansas facility?

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 26,028 views 

Is Amazon planning a warehouse and fulfillment center in Northwest Arkansas?

For the past several weeks, a few Northwest Arkansas Business Journal sources have suggested that idea, pointing to an area in Springdale east of Interstate 49 and south of the J.B. Hunt Transport Services corporate headquarters.

Wouldn’t you know it? A seven-figure land sale closed in that area earlier this month.

According to records at the Benton County Courthouse, 91.5 acres south of West Apple Blossom Avenue and east of Graham Road sold for $5.2 million. That purchase equals $1.30 per square foot.

Macrich LLC, managed by Marjorie Brooks, was the seller. The new owner is Crossland Realty Group, a privately owned real estate investment firm based in Kansas and a division of Crossland Construction. The development company has more than 8 million square feet of commercial real estate under management in more than 100 properties.

A couple of those buildings are at the corner of 28th and J streets in Bentonville. Walmart leases all of an approximately 88,000-square-foot flex building that was built in 2018. The retailer also leases roughly 30,000 square feet of a 130,000-square-foot building that was built in 2017.

Bill McClard, a senior vice president at Lindsey & Associates and executive broker specializing in commercial properties, represented Macrich in the Springdale land deal. Springdale City Council rezoned the property to warehouse Oct. 13. At the meeting, McClard told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a “Fortune 500” company was considering the property for its warehouse center.

If the company is Amazon, Crossland isn’t confirming. Mattie Crossland, the director of real estate for Crossland Realty Group, said there are no imminent development plans.

“We are marketing the site for flex industrial users, build-to-suit opportunities, and in the future may consider a spec building,” she said. “Our vision is to eventually build out a multi-tenant industrial park that services the area being unlocked by the various municipal projects underway.

“We think highly of the city of Springdale and the strong regional economic growth forecast.”

From a logistics perspective, the property is in an ideal location — several years from now. The land is situated east of the Arkansas Highway 612/Interstate 49 interchange. Right now, Highway 612 is only built to the west. The plan is to ultimately build out the eastern portion of the highway — through or near the Crossland property — to create a divided highway corridor known as the Springdale Northern Bypass.

It will run from an interchange with U.S. Highway 412 west of Tontitown to U.S. Highway 412 east of Sonora and just west of Beaver Lake.

Lines on a map right now, but one day an essential artery in Northwest Arkansas.