Walton-backed City U will begin leasing in September

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 5,322 views 

City U's construction site covers 9 acres along Southeast Third Street and Southeast Fourth streets in downtown Bentonville, north of the Momentary.

Bentonville developer Blue Crane’s latest real estate project in the city’s emerging Market District is on track to begin leasing in early September.

The first units at City U, a neighborhood-like, 360-unit multifamily project, should be completed by the end of the year. The 9-acre site covers a four-block area just north of the Momentary arts venue and will include 26 buildings ranging from two to five stories.

Blue Crane is the real estate acquisition and development arm of Runway Group, based in Bentonville and led by Steuart Walton and his younger brother, Tom Walton. They are the grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton and the sons of Arvest Bank Group Inc. chairman and CEO Jim Walton. Some of Blue Crane’s projects in Bentonville include Crystal Flats, 8th Street Market and Skylight Cinema.

Amenities at City U will include community rooms, patios, podium parking, open spaces and commercial spaces. The Razorback Regional Greenway runs adjacent to the development.

City U will designate 30% of its units (108) to core housing, meant to help individuals within a certain income bracket have more affordable rental options in Bentonville. The most common definition of core housing comes from the Urban Land Institute, which defines it as affordable housing for households earning between 60% and 120% of the area median income.

City U’s lease rates have not been finalized, and the property manager hasn’t been determined. Fayetteville firm C.R. Crawford Construction is the general contractor and has paid the city for 28 building permits with a combined valuation of $64.9 million.

Pennsylvania design firm Digsau is the design architect, Olin of Pennsylvania is the landscape designer and Modus Studio of Fayetteville is the architect of record. Bentonville firm CEI is the engineer.