Fast 15: Tom Hanna

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 1,123 views 

Class of 2023 Tom Hanna Real Estate Developer KMW Properties, Fort Smith

Fort Smith-based KMW Properties was a “passive” real estate development company primarily supporting the operations of Hanna Oil & Gas. That began to change when Tom Hanna returned to the city and the family business in 2019.

Hanna graduated in 2016 from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in international development and a minor in property development. He followed that with a University of Denver master’s degree in real estate and construction management in 2018.

Along with his father and brothers, Hanna is active in developing and managing The Bakery District, a downtown Fort Smith property that once housed Shipley Baking. It now houses a coffee shop, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith offices, meeting spaces, a bookstore, and outside space for events and food trucks.

Hanna is proud of the recently opened The Mill & Exchange, a large, shared workspace adjacent to The Bakery District. The uniquely designed and amenity-laden space has proven popular.

“I keep telling people that I think my career has peaked at the age of 28 with that [The Mill],” Hanna joked. “But the placemaking we created in Fort Smith and how the community has embraced it has been really nice.”

His career has by no means peaked.

Hanna and the family business have many ongoing projects, including developing townhomes in Pea Ridge, industrial flex space in Fort Smith, self-storage development in Fort Smith and Killeen, Texas, and bringing in more vendors in part of the building that houses The Mill. He’s also working with others to build more trails in the Fort Smith area.

“The family business will always be at the core of what I’m doing, which is continuing to build places in Arkansas that make people happy. … My purpose in moving forward with my career is to build places that people enjoy and that communities embrace,” he said.

Outside of his career, Hanna loves the outside. His favorite activities are hiking, biking — especially gravel cycling — and river floating.

He advises those entering the workforce to look for chances to grow.

“Take every opportunity you get. Know how to say, ‘I’m in.’”