With expansion in mind, J.B. Hunt pays $18 million for office park near Lowell headquarters

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 8,278 views 

Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services recently closed an $18 million deal to acquire a three-building office park at 506, 509, and 515 Enterprise Drive in Lowell. The 8.8-acre site is 0.5 miles north of the company’s corporate headquarters along northbound Interstate 49.

The ownership deed was filed on June 28 at the Benton County Courthouse.

The buildings, referred to as the Northwest Arkansas Business Center, include 108,627 square feet. Most of it is vacant space. The purchase price equals $165.70 per square foot.

“Since 2019, we’ve added nearly 10,000 employees at J.B. Hunt, many of them here in Northwest Arkansas,” Chief Operations Officer Nick Hobbs told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “The recently acquired locations will support the continual growth of our people and their ability to meet the expanding needs of customers. While detailed plans around renovations and updates are still in development, these locations will provide valuable workspace for employees to collaborate and engage onsite in a team environment.”

Tom Allen with Cushman & Wakefield/Sage Partners in Rogers represented the company in the acquisition.

The former ownership group consisted of the Cosby Hodges Trust of Fort Smith, Graham Streett, a Russellville native now living in Texas, and Bennett Holdings LLC, managed by longtime Northwest Arkansas commercial real estate broker Clinton Bennett.

The investors paid $12.95 million ($119.21 per square foot) for the property in June 2020. Little Rock-based real estate investment fund CapRocq was the seller.

At the time of the 2020 sale, the three buildings had a combined occupancy of about 96%. Tenants included Transplace, Banker’s Life, Mercy Behavioral Health, Rockline Industries, and the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.

Only two of them remain. Texas-based Transplace, one of the country’s largest third-party logistics service providers, relocated to a new regional operations center in Rogers last year, leaving 80,000 square feet in Lowell empty.

“We were planning to re-lease that [Transplace] space after they left, but we were approached about selling it, and it made sense to do that,” said Bennett, who helped broker the deal through his company, Bennett Commercial Real Estate in Rogers. “Transplace, technically, had a lease through 2026, but we negotiated a buyout of that agreement, which put us in a position to sell it.”

Bennett said Mercy and Banker’s Life occupy space at 515 Enterprise Drive. Buildings at 506 and 509 are empty.