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KJW

Fort Smith

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Until such time as Fort Smith gets its own board, why not start a new thread on that city (Van Buren, Alma, Sallisaw/Poteau, Greenwood), which shares our television market, our high school football conferences (at least sometimes) and so much else with us even though it's a separate entity?  At least, that will keep me from clogging up the I-49 thread again even though there was some interesting I-49 news which may or will someday affect NWA.

 

(Mith or the moderators, feel free to delete if you think this isn't appropriate.)

 

Here's a sliver of news: Fort Smith, like Rogers, is getting its own aquatic park, scheduled to open Memorial Day 2015.  Flintco Constructive Services of Tulsa, which built the Rogers one, will be building the one off Zero Street (in an area not far west of Chaffee Crossing, I believe).

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Until such time as Fort Smith gets its own board, why not start a new thread on that city (Van Buren, Alma, Sallisaw/Poteau, Greenwood), which shares our television market, our high school football conferences (at least sometimes) and so much else with us even though it's a separate entity?  At least, that will keep me from clogging up the I-49 thread again even though there was some interesting I-49 news which may or will someday affect NWA.

 

(Mith or the moderators, feel free to delete if you think this isn't appropriate.)

 

Here's a sliver of news: Fort Smith, like Rogers, is getting its own aquatic park, scheduled to open Memorial Day 2015.  Flintco Constructive Services of Tulsa, which built the Rogers one, will be building the one off Zero Street (in an area not far west of Chaffee Crossing, I believe).

I don't have any problem with there being a Ft Smith topic included here.  Honestly we could probably consolidate some of the subforums considering how some of them have died off.

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Texas Roadhouse looks to be opening up its doors probably by October. It should do fairly well as Fort Smith tends to like the chain eateries And the location is very accessible. It will be going in the parking lot where the K-Mart used to be(currently Hank's Fiiiiiine Furniture) on the intersection of Rogers Ave. and South 74th St. Now if only that town can get something to entertain the locals....

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I think it's appalling that Arkansas hasn't landed an auto plant and I've always thought Ft. Smith was better than West Memphis for such a plant with the exception of rail maybe.

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I think it's appalling that Arkansas hasn't landed an auto plant and I've always thought Ft. Smith was better than West Memphis for such a plant with the exception of rail maybe.

 

I think you're right, TRB.  Fort Smith seems historically to have much more "heavy industry", but the downtown rail connections, would, I think, preclude a lot of freight movements north to south.  That's key, because the Arkansas & Missouri railroad (to the north through NWA to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe link at Monett, which can take trains on to either St. Louis or Memphis) and the Kansas City Southern (which runs its "Fort Smith dodger" freights to the south to link at Poteau, taking freight southward to the main yard at Shreveport with its multitude of connections) used to all be part of the Frisco railroad, which, if intact, might have rivaled Union Pacific through Little Rock for being the shortest routes between St. Louis and Dallas.  As it is the yards downtown don't look like they're built for either large amounts of freight units, nor are the A & M/KCS lines built for quick departure of large freights.

 

The best rail links by far are with Union Pacific through Van Buren.  That being said, the new locomotives I placed a picture of are going to be used to haul heavier freights on the A & M, and will also be able to serve as distributed power (putting a locomotive at both the front and the back of the train) allowing for even longer trains.

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It's a good point.  Not sure why Ft Smith never seems to be thought of as a possible auto plant.  Seems like it's only the Marion/West Memphis area that's ever considered for Arkansas.  And I think there's problems with that location.  Concerns are that an auto plant would push air quality levels too far for that area.  

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From today's Fort Smith Southwest Times Record, on property sales in Chaffee Crossing:

 

Financial Report

 
A financial review of the FCRA showed that its property sales through August hit $3.9 million.
 
“We’re getting busier and busier every day,” (Ivy) Owen said. “We have offers coming in now almost weekly. So things are picking up like we hoped they would.”
 
The FCRA estimated it would end the year with $4.5 million in revenue.
 
“I think we’ll be $1.5 million over what we projected,” Owen said. “It enables us to do more water and server, more street partnerships with Barling and the city of Fort Smith. That’s what we’re supposed to do with this money — put it back into properties and support development.”
 

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Early Barling Mall Concept Revealed (part of the Chaffee Crossing Development at future I-49)

 

Barling leaders were shown an early design for an outdoor shopping mall at the intersection of Arkansas 22 and 59 late last week.

“I’m excited about it,” Barling Director Bruce Farrar said. “I think this has the potential to increase our tax base by, I’d say, 300 or 400 percent.”

In June, the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority sold 90 acres of land in Barling for development of a 70-store mall. The property was sold for $2.2 million to a group from Hot Springs called Chaffee Crossing Real Estate Inc.

A preliminary rendering shows a retail center, restaurant and hotel.

“Barling’s a nice town, and I think we deserve to have something nice in it that draws people,” Barling Director David Brigham said. “We’re in a key location. It’s actually the entrance to I-49 eventually. I just think it’s going to be a great thing for us.”

Specific businesses have not been announced, but the developers are working toward the first anchor store, according to FCRA Executive Director Ivy Owen.

“They’ve got a big box anchor tenant,” Owen said. “They wouldn’t tell me who it is. They don’t have the hotel in hand yet, nor do they have the restaurant. But they’re negotiating with them. They know who they want.

- See more at: http://swtimes.com/news/early-barling-mall-concept-unveiled#sthash.wEicp525.dpuf

 

(EDIT: to our friend who's in this business here on this board...this drawing isn't much, but there sure is much ado about this.  And every other day there seems to be a story about this CC development.  It will all key in on what happens with the Interstate.  One thing seems sure...they'll have an "Interstate" from Rogers Ave. to Greenwood next year.)

Edited by KJW

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Looks a lot like the newer Conway shopping center with the target and home depot.

Mall in the strip mall vein and certainly not an outdoor center like the promenade.

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Early Barling Mall Concept Revealed (part of the Chaffee Crossing Development at future I-49)

 

Barling leaders were shown an early design for an outdoor shopping mall at the intersection of Arkansas 22 and 59 late last week.

“I’m excited about it,” Barling Director Bruce Farrar said. “I think this has the potential to increase our tax base by, I’d say, 300 or 400 percent.”

In June, the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority sold 90 acres of land in Barling for development of a 70-store mall. The property was sold for $2.2 million to a group from Hot Springs called Chaffee Crossing Real Estate Inc.

A preliminary rendering shows a retail center, restaurant and hotel.

“Barling’s a nice town, and I think we deserve to have something nice in it that draws people,” Barling Director David Brigham said. “We’re in a key location. It’s actually the entrance to I-49 eventually. I just think it’s going to be a great thing for us.”

Specific businesses have not been announced, but the developers are working toward the first anchor store, according to FCRA Executive Director Ivy Owen.

“They’ve got a big box anchor tenant,” Owen said. “They wouldn’t tell me who it is. They don’t have the hotel in hand yet, nor do they have the restaurant. But they’re negotiating with them. They know who they want.

- See more at: http://swtimes.com/news/early-barling-mall-concept-unveiled#sthash.wEicp525.dpuf

 

(EDIT: to our friend who's in this business here on this board...this drawing isn't much, but there sure is much ado about this.  And every other day there seems to be a story about this CC development.  It will all key in on what happens with the Interstate.  One thing seems sure...they'll have an "Interstate" from Rogers Ave. to Greenwood next year.)

 

Interesting. They are spending money on designs. Just never heard of a developer that will go to this length without pursuing a broad range of anchor tenants. If they've marketed the property to anchors, I would have heard about it. This makes it seem more "real" though.

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Comreguy, you were who I was thinking of.  Couldn't remember your handle, sorry.  They're doing all sorts of, er, interesting things with this development.  I'm really wondering how many people will know who Elvis Presley was in a couple of decades (not trying to speak ill of the departed...I just wonder how marketable his name will still be).  With that in mind, here's something else the CC people are up to:

 

 

 

Representatives of Elvis Presley’s estate are expected in Fort Smith next month to consider purchasing the Barbershop Museum at Chaffee Crossing or taking over operation of a related gift shop, according to the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.
 
“They are coming here to specifically look at our historic district and our museum,” FCRA executive director Ivy Owen said. “We’re really excited about this.”
 
Owen traveled to Memphis in March to meet with representatives of Elvis Presley Enterprises. He said his proposal included the company potentially managing the gift shop or purchasing the museum.
 
“That really intrigued them, the owning part, because it would be the only property outside of Graceland that Elvis Presley Enterprises owns,” Owen said.
 
The barbershop museum, created in 2008, is the site where Presley received his first military haircut, according to the FCRA. The shop is restored to its condition in 1958, when thousands of U.S. Army enlistees received their signature buzz cuts. It houses photos and artifacts documenting the 70-year history of Fort Chaffee.
 
The company representatives are expected Oct. 2 and 3.
 
“It’s been a hard, difficult chore to get them to even recognize us, much less saying they are interested in coming here to take a look at the operation,” Owen said.
 
Also invited are Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders, Arkansas Parks and Tourism director Richard Davies and Fort Smith Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Claude Legris.
 
Edited by KJW

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Comreguy, you were who I was thinking of.  Couldn't remember your handle, sorry.  They're doing all sorts of, er, interesting things with this development.  I'm really wondering how many people will know who Elvis Presley was in a couple of decades (not trying to speak ill of the departed...I just wonder how marketable his name will still be).  With that in mind, here's something else the CC people are up to:

Being from Memphis, plenty know who Elvis is

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Fort Smith continues to sprawl to the south and southeast while the north side of town continues to deteriorate. If even a fraction of the money being used to develop green space out at the edge of town were used to redevelop commercial and residential areas on the north side, the city would be a more desirable place to do business and live. The planned riverfront developments are a step in the right direction but a drive down Midland Blvd. shows how much more needs to be done.

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“I think we may have reached a plateau last year in sales that reflect the peak of large-tract sales,” FCRA executive director Ivy Owen said Tuesday. “We may be now on a plane of more specialized (sales), which isn’t bad. But I’m confident it will be $3 million at least.”

 

...

 

“I think what we’re going to see this year is a tremendous amount of building on property we’ve sold the last two years,” Owen said. “I think that’s going to be our success this year.”

Owen anticipates a mall in Barling will be underway soon, as well as smaller commercial and retail developments.

“We do have a couplearrow-10x10.png of 20- and 40-acre commercial developments that are going to happen,” he said. “Five churches are ready to break ground.”

In June, the Board of Trustees approved the sale of seven acres at Massard Road and McClure Drive for Chaffee Crossing’s first restaurant. (Question: where is McClure Drive in Fort Smith?)

http://swtimes.com/news/chaffee-crossing-plans-3-million-property-sales

 

 

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Since there's an interest in architecture here, Fort Smith's newest fire station (in Chaffee Crossing (CC)) is based on the design of a "World War II era motor pool building".

 

Also,

 

The Fort Smith School District adopted a master plan that calls for multiple new buildings, including a third high school in CC.   They are looking at building a multipurpose facility off the Arkansas River (4 feet above the 100 year flood plain) that would partially depend upon Kelley Highway being extended to the facility.  (That's from an earlier article).

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"The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine" planned for Chaffee Crossing, right next to the future high school.  This is a BIG deal, I should think, for Fort Smith.

 


web1_News-5col-clr-Campus.jpg

 

“The announcement is wonderful news for Fort Smith and Barling,” Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders said. “Not only will it provide a needed influx of physicians for this region, it will also provide a significant economic impact for all of this area.”

The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation intends to build what it calls the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine on 200 acres near Chad Colley Boulevard at Chaffee Crossing.

“We are committing $58 million to this project,” foundation board chairman Kyle Parker said during a meeting of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority’s Board of Trustees. “The proposed medical school will enrollarrow-10x10.png 150 students per year for a total of 600 students that will be attending.”

Parker added that current plans place the first crop of students in class by August 2017.

“There have been a lot of good days at Chaffee Crossing, but I think this one tops them all,” FCRA executive director Ivy Owen said. “This fits perfectly in our land reuse plan.”

The acreage, located in both Fort Smith and Barling, was donated by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday.

“For us to give away $4 million worth of land doesn’t come easy,” FCRA Board of Trustees chairman Dean Gibson said.

The foundation estimates an annual economic impact on the community of $75 million to $100 million.

“The impact of this besides the $75 million a year is just immeasurable in my opinion,” Owen said.

Mercy Healtharrow-10x10.png System, Sparks, Cooper Clinic, the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority and Community Health Centers of Arkansas have indicated their desire to play integral roles in the clinical rotations and residency education of the proposed college, according to Parker.

“What we fully anticipate doing is continuing to build a medical university,” he said. “We will look at a dental school, a physician’s assistant school, physical therapy schoolsarrow-10x10.png.”

Parker said the college will employ 65 teachers with annual salaries of at least $103,000. Owen said 60 percent of the graduating doctors will become family practice physicians, “but they can go specialized.”

“I think they’ve come up with the right idea,” Barling Mayor Jerry Barling said. “Everybody is going to be a winner on this one.”

 

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Editorial in the Fort Smith paper today tells us things:

 

1.  There was, perhaps, a bit of rivalry between eastern and western Arkansas that was being played out in the desire (and need) for a new medical school such as this.  East Arkansas may be more needy, but it's also across the river from Memphis, a far bigger medical center than Fort Smith is likely (emphasis on "likely") to be.

 

2.  This medical school in Fort Smith being financed privately is KEY.

 

3.  That being said, when Fort Smith is talked about being the hub in western Arkansas for these medical services, that tells me that NORTHWEST Arkansas is included.  It seems inevitable that if NWA grows to be 1,000,000 people strong as predicted here with links, we're going to have Level I trauma centers and expanded medical facilities here. Yet regardless, it looks to me like the place in the near and middle future for specialized medical care in the NWA/FSM area is going to be FSM.  It's clear that the Walton Family is cultivating ties between our two next-door-over-the-hill metro areas which right now combine for just about 800,000 people.  As things happen (like I-49 becoming a reality, whenever that is) that make Fort Smith grow, it's going to be fascinating to watch the interplay between our metro areas.  BTW, I'd be surprised, if this campus gets to be as big and comprehensive as planned, we don't see NWA work commuters for that university.

 


 

Fort Smith seeks to position itself as a destination for medical services in the western part of the state. A supply of new professionals who have completedarrow-10x10.png clinical rotations or residencies at Mercy Health System, Sparks Regional Medical Center, Cooper Clinic, the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority and Community Health Centers of Arkansas will bolster the area’s reputation. And we suspect that once students study and practice here, many will opt to stay here for all the reasons that make the region a great place to live and raise families.

Jonesboro, citing underserved medical needs in the Delta region, also is looking at establishing an osteopathic medical school, one that would operate under the aegis of Arkansas State University. Should that school be built, it will be dependent on state funds, and it will have to go toe-to-toe with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences before the General Assembly when funding time is at hand.

(If you think that doesn’t matter, listen to Dan Rahn, chancellor of UAMS, who doesn’t support new medical schools in the state. Chancellor Rahn told Arkansas Business that efforts to address the state’s physician shortage should focus on adding more residency slotsarrow-10x10.png, not adding another medical school. “Because otherwise we run the risk of educating new graduates within the state of Arkansas who aren’t actually going to contribute to solving the problems in Arkansas,” he said.)

The Fort Smith medical school will be “private, nonprofit and unreliant on continuous public funds from the state,” according to the December Times Record report, which also noted support for the effort from Community Health Centers of Arkansas, the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Association, the Arkansas Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the Arkansas Osteopathic Foundation.

There are plenty of details to come and much planning. But for today, it looks like Fort Smith and Barling, which both will host the campus, and all of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma are in line for a great economic boost and important medical changes. It is indeedarrow-10x10.png a good day.

http://swtimes.com/opinion/how-we-see-it/editorial-ostepathic-school-promises-good-things-area

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I've heard talk of a UA Dental School. That will be a big battle with LR. Like the previous poster said, Memphis is huge in medical services with UT Medical Sciences ever expanding and with it's Dental school there as well. NWA seems the logical choice for such a school with the upstart UAMS campus up here.

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