ERC Holdings is expanding its housing developments at Chaffee Crossing in hopes of expanding the area’s live-work-play destination. The new areas are projected to have a combined economic impact in excess of $100 million when completed.
The new developments are Regency Place Phase II, Abbington Creek, the Meadows at Chaffee, Providence Phase IV, and Alianna at The HUB. ERC Chairman Rod Coleman said there is high demand for housing in Chaffee Crossing with everything that is built already sold and mostly customized homes being built in the area now. He credits the housing boom to low interest rates and jobs opening in the area. The area is in good school districts, Fort Smith and Greenwood, and is where many people want to be, he said.
Fort Smith learned in July that Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, the home of the 188th Wing, will be a long-term pilot training center supporting F-16 and F-35 fighter planes purchased by Singapore, Switzerland and other countries participating in the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Up to 36 aircraft will be part of the center, with F-16’s of the Republic of Singapore 425th Fighter Squadron set to arrive in 2023 and the advanced F-35’s to come in 2026. A final decision on the center is expected in early 2022.
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce reports that 345 U.S. military personnel would be part of the center and an estimated 180-plus members of the Singapore unit and around 300 dependents. Training and aircraft from Finland and Poland may also be part of the FMS site in the future.
Mars Petcare said Sept. 21 it is expanding its Fort Smith operation with a $117 million investment over two phases that are estimated to add 140 jobs. Titled “Project Blue Moon” for purposes of the Fort Smith Board discussion, the second and third phases build upon a $145 million expansion and 120 new jobs announced in January.
“And (Arkansas College for Health Education at Chaffee) is continuing to grow and bring in more students and faculty and staff,” Coleman said. “Chaffee Crossing is really the only residential area of any size that is expanding and building.”
Though he knows that with every cycle, this building growth will eventually come to an end, but he said unless interest rates rise significantly, he sees the building trend continuing for the next 24 to 36 months.
The 2020 Census showed Fort Smith’s growth rate as flat, and the metro area population falling from 248,208 in 2010 to 244,310 in 2020. Coleman said he thinks the new jobs being announced in the Fort Smith area since the first of the year are changing that.
“At the HUB, we are seeing those who are buying or renting are moving to Fort Smith from outside the area. They are physicians coming to work for Mercy (Fort Smith) or Baptist(-Fort Smith). We have a lot of doctors moving out here. Or they are students coming to the medical college. We’ve had some who are moving to Fort Smith because they are going to work for ArcBest. They are people who are moving to Fort Smith,” Coleman said.
Regency Place is the first for-sale affordable housing addition in Chaffee Crossing, an ERC news release said. Phase II of the project will begin Oct. 1 and be completed by August 2022, while the already completed Phase 1 will have homes available for purchase in January. Rausch Coleman Homes of Fayetteville is the builder of the subdivision, which is located on West Chad Colley Boulevard. The floor plans include three and four bedroom models with two or two and a half bathrooms and a double-car garage. Home prices start in the upper $100,000s. Homes will be in the Greenwood School District. ERC said the economic impact of the development will be around $30 million.
Abbington Creek is a luxury duplex development offering unique amenities and combining upscale residential with office and light commercial space, according to ERC. Located on Chad Colley frontage, Abbington Creek is expected to be open in late 2022. Duplexes featuring 79 lots and consisting of two- and three-bedroom units with two-car garages being built by Justin Underwood. The economic impact of the development is expected to be about $25 million, the news release said.
The Meadows at Chaffee, located on Wells Lake Road next to the new Pinnacle Park addition, will offer midrange single family housing. Homes, which will be ready for occupancy in late 2022, will be in the Fort Smith School District. The 35 homes feature three- and four-bedroom floor plans with two-car garages, ranging from 1,800 to 2,400 square feet. Homes, built by Tim Mays, will be in the $275,00-$350,000 price range. Economic impact when completed will be around $11 million.
Providence Phase IV is the final phase of the Providence Addition of fine homes, located adjacent to the new ArcBest corporate headquarters and The HUB. The addition of 13 lots to accommodate luxury homes between 2,700 and 4,000 square feet is expected to be completed in mid-2022. Lot prices start at $83,950. Home prices in Providence range from $500,000 to $3 million, making it one of the more exclusive in the region, noted ERC. ERC estimates the economic impact when completed at $8 million. Providence builders include Michael Anderson with Anderson Quality Homes; Donnie Wise with Wise Homebuilders; Cary Smallwood with Carrington Creek Homes; Scott Deer with Terra Firma Builders; Brandon Richmond with Royal Ridge Construction and Emily and Chapen Rucker with Rucker Fine Homes.
Alianna at The HUB will be the second phase of The HUB, Chaffee Crossing’s first mixed-use development. The addition, located on Wells Lake Road, will be ready in late 2022. It consists of 21 single-family lots in a gated area, 11 of which enjoy direct access to the Chaffee Crossing trail system. Homes will be between 2,200 to 3,200 square feet with two-, three- and four-bedroom floor plans. Alianna continues the amenities of Phase I, including a pool, dog park, pavilion, hammocks and park/greenspace. The economic impact is expected to be $30 million.