Investment group to invest about $10 million to renovate Kinkead apartment complex

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 3,250 views 

The former dilapidated apartment eyesore on Kinkead Avenue in Fort Smith that has sat vacant for years has new ownership and is expected to open again as a new and improved apartment complex later this year.

Brian Wagers, CIO of Dallas-based Elevate Commercial Investment Group, in partnership with Jerry Laxen and Joshua Harmon purchased the 145-unit apartment complex on 3600 Kinkead Ave. that has been vacant and overgrown for approximately 10 years at the end of 2022. Elevate Commercial Investment purchased the land and building for approximately $900,000, Wagers said.

To date they have spent about $1.5 million on tree removal, demolition of two buildings and some decks, cleaning of all buildings and filling in of the swimming pools. The company expects the total investment of the property to be about $10 million, Wagers said.

“Since purchasing the property, Brian and the team have worked closely with the City of Fort Smith to clean and organize the property with the goal of providing a safe and sanitary environment for the residents and students in the neighborhood,” noted a press release from the office of Fort Smith Mayor George McGill.

The property is located close to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and Wagers said he believes it will be a good addition to that area. The new complex, which will be called Kinkead Village, will have 95 one-bedroom apartments and 50 two-bedroom apartments. Amenities will include an onsite laundry facility, community areas, barbecue setups, a playground and greenspace, Wagers said. It’s also adjacent to Tilles Park, one of Fort Smith’s four community parks.

“This has pretty big acreage, we want to leave lots of space for the residents to enjoy,” he said.

The former property did have swimming pools, but Wagers said those had become more like swamps with wildlife living in them and were filled in for safety and sanitation reasons. More pools are not expected to be added. Buildings that have been demolished will be rebuilt in order to keep the apartment complex at the same size of units it had before. All buildings have been thoroughly cleaned and will be repainted, Wagers said. There will be new plumbing and electrical as well as new windows, roofs and HVAC systems.

Once complete, the apartments will be considered in the B-class in order to keep rent affordable for working professionals and students, Wagers said, noting that A-class apartments in the Northwest Arkansas region run about $1,500 a month.

“That is just too much for this area. So these apartments will be in the middle (price range),” Wagers said. “We are excited for this property and its potential. We want people to know we are new owners. We didn’t let it sit vacant for the last 10 years. We are here now, and we are ready to make this something good for Fort Smith.”

Elevate Commercial has bought and remodeled or rehabilitated several apartment properties in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith areas, including the 72-unit Mayfair complex in Fort Smith, properties in Van Buren, and a 376-complex in Centerton. Wagers said they hope to roll out phase one of the Kinkead complex in the fall.