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RemusCal

Density along I-540

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I would love to see some more density along I-540. It is getting better with apartments and condos going next to Rogers, but I want to see 15-25 story buildings like you see in Dallas next to the interstate. It would be cheaper too b/c the price of land is rising so rapidly in the area. It could also incorporate apartments or condos on the top of the towers. What an awesome view of the ozarks that would be if that happened. I like the idea of the condos on Beaver Lake, but I also want to see more vertical development along I-540. It will give us a much more urban feel which I think this area is ready for.

What are your thoughts?

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I would love to see some more density along I-540.  It is getting better with apartments and condos going next to Rogers, but I want to see 15-25 story buildings like you see in Dallas next to the interstate.  It would be cheaper too b/c the price of land is rising so rapidly in the area.  It could also incorporate apartments or condos on the top of the towers.  What an awesome view of the ozarks that would be if that happened.  I like the idea of the condos on Beaver Lake, but I also want to see more vertical development along I-540.  It will give us a much more urban feel which I think this area is ready for.

What are your thoughts?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The price of land doesn't dictate that kind of development, and if it did it would all be in Bentonville and Rogers where the office space is needed. I think for now you'll continue to see a lot of upscale low-rise office buildings like you see in Rogers and Lowell along 540 and along Financial Center Pkwy in Little Rock and along the freeways in Plano. When we start to see more mid-rise buildings I think you'll see them as close as possible to Wal-Mart HQs as possible.

Anyway, I guess the interesting case and point would be the HQs buildings of the companies in NWA - they're all pretty low-rise.

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I agree with Aporkalypse, I think it will be a while before larger buildings start to take place. As much as I would like to see development like that, many people wouldn't. Until people finally get used to the idea that this area is not what it used to be and that you can't hold back progress. I wouldn't be too surprised if there were some mid-rise buildings that pop up every once in a while. I'm also curious to see if Fayetteville addresses high-rise buildings in the building code eventually. When we do start getting taller buildings here in Fayetteville I still would like to have some around the downtown area. But I certainly wouldn't mind having any along the I-540 corridor either.

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The example of development along the interstates (really along the North Central - US 75 and the Dallas North Tollway) is really quite different. These buildings really pale in comparison to downtown Dallas or Fort Worth which really have typical designs. The reason the buildings are built where they are is for easy access for those coming from the Northern suburbs. In addition, quite a few of these buildings are hotels. Again, they are built mid-rise because of space constrictions - very little land is available along the North Central and Tollway corridors so the ONLY option is to build up. Heights are stopped at mid-rise level because of Love Field and Addison airport in most areas.

Now, if NWA ever does get high rises I think you'll see a de novo central business district pop up in Bentonville or Rogers. It would have to be a massive pre-planned development - something similar to Las Colinas in Irving, TX. This is probably the only real "skyline" in DFW aside from Dallas and Ft Worth (which also has a nice CBD) proper. This was a massive development in the 1970s where a 12, 000 acre ranch was transformed with lakes and canals and became a corporate mecca with ExxonMobil and Nokia as well as movie studios, and 300,000 office employees during the daytime in total. It's development occurred as DFW was being built a dozen miles away. Residential and luxury hotels and a convention center followed. Dallas is much, much different than NWA but if you are going to do it, do it in the mold of a Las Colinas. You just need an ambitious developer with deep pockets, a guarantee from Wal-Mart to never move, and a REALLY big piece of land.

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Well Rogers has been taking advantage of their land near I-540. Granted their not building anything mid-rise, mainly retail. Fayetteville hasn't done much development around I-540. One peice of land has an endangered fish near it and there are some hills along one stretch that I guess is keeping some developers away. But getting back to Rogers, has anyone heard about this new road that will be near the new exit around the Pinnacle Hills area? I think it's going to be called New Hope Road, but they plan on having it 7 lanes when it's finished. I can't recall seeing any 7 lanes roads in Arkansas.

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Mith,

Check out today's Benton County Record if you've access to a store nearby that carries it in Washington County. There's a big article on the 8th street improvements upcoming, and how W-M got federal money for it.

Also, there's a new building roughly between Bentonville HS (I just found out today from a teacher that the B'ville superintendant said a second B'ville HS will be built out near XNA) and the Cooper Communities building there's a new building up (the steel's up for it now) that's not that high, but is massive...said to have one of the state's highest areas of square footage.

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Mith,

Check out today's Benton County Record if you've access to a store nearby that carries it in Washington County.  There's a big article on the 8th street improvements upcoming, and how W-M got federal money for it.

Also, there's a new building roughly between Bentonville HS (I just found out today from a teacher that the B'ville superintendant said a second B'ville HS will be built out near XNA) and the Cooper Communities building there's a new building up (the steel's up for it now) that's not that high, but is massive...said to have one of the state's highest areas of square footage.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Don't think I've seen the benton County Record down here. But I did hear that most of the money from the highway bill was being used on the Bella Vista bypass and the road near Wal-mart's hq.

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That will make some people happy, course that will also make a number of people unhappy too. But I also think things will generally improve once people start getting over the 'culture shock' of what they remember as their small towns and cities becoming a large metro in such a short period of time. But I do agree with Aporkalypse and hope that future growth is better planned and zoned. My biggest thing is just not having sprawl taking over. We could probably use some, but I also just don't like the idea of northwest Arkansas spreading out all over the Ozarks. I also just like having large condos so people don't necessarily have to drive to work and for all of their recreational/entertainment activities.

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The problem with these population estimates is they're WAY too simplistic. You take the average growth rate over the last decade and used that to extrapolate per annum growth for the next 50 years, compounding along the way. It's a bad model regardless but particularly when applied to individual cities as opposed to the MSA as a whole or the two counties making up the area.

Of course, no model could ever really predict NWA, it is one of the strangest areas in the country as there are few places that are good for comparison. The entire economy is largely reliant on Wal-Mart, indirectly or directly. On the other hand you have the chicken companies that have brought in tons of cheap Hispanic labor. Half of Springdale and Rogers' growth has been Hispanic, going from <1% to 20% in a fairly short time. So on one end you have a disproportionate amount of white collar, on the other end a lot of blue collar jobs (which is why wages aren't rising as high as you expect). Benton Co has most of the growth, particularly amongst Anglos, as most there are employeed by Wal-Mart of one of its vendors, etc and the resultant service industry to take care of all of these people. Meanwhile, Fayetteville does what you expect it to do - has steady growth the way every cool university town in America seems to be doing.

Look at the fastest growing counties in America - you'll find Benton Co at #80.

http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/CO-EST2004-09.html

Now, what do these other counties have in common? Most are either lucky enough to be on the fringes of major metro areas (notice Collin, Denton, and Rockwall Cos - all are Dallas suburban cos) OR they are in highly desirable areas - many counties in Florida are experiencing similar growth not because of any other reason that people wanting to live in Florida. The Nevada counties, we know, are driven by the gambling economy. None is really booming because of a single company located there, as far as I know (I only recognize 2/3 or so).

Benton Co's economy will rise and fall as Wal-Mart does. If Wal-Mart continues to grow so will NWA at a steady rate. If Wal-Mart moves to another city (unlikely) or sells out or splits (VERY unlikely) then NWA will really take a hit no other place in the country could ever take as there's no similar situation. If Wal-Mart merely stagnates for a while NWA will still be able to grow as other job sectors grow, just not at this pace.

NWA's growth is totally dictated by job growth which is almost entirely dictated by Wal-Mart. This makes it very unique.

Personally, I think growth in the counties will occur at just a slightly lower rate than it is now for the next two decades. If Rogers or Springdale every approach becoming majority Latino I think you'll see their populations stagnate as the surrounding county and other cities continue to grow. I think Fayetteville will chug along at the same rate but continue to be the area's largest city. I think Bentonville will continue at a blistering pace, perhaps even speeding up for a while.

Would I buy real estate in NWA? You bet your --- I would. My guess is as good as anybody's but nobody can predict what will happen in this market.

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You make very good points. If Wal-mart really started taking more of a beating with all of the negative publicity it probably would cut the growth. Although I think it might be a delayed reaction. I think there are still more vendors putting in offices in Bentonville. But Wal-mart is the one mainly driving the better paying jobs in the area. And yes this area is strange, who can anyone explain this area developing such a strong trucking industry here when there weren't any good roads leading into northwest Arkansas. Fayetteville certainly benefits by Wal-mart, but it's growth seems more ties to the university and it doing well in many polls. I believe that's one of the reasons there seem to be as many Californians here. Quite a few of the ones I've talked to mentioned they say Fayetteville mentioned by some magazine or ranked highly in some poll.

I try not to expect too much from all of these predictions on growth. But I certainly will say it won't happen either. I know quite a few people have been surprised because they expected the growth to have cut off at some point and it just seems to keep going.

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You make very good points.  If Wal-mart really started taking more of a beating with all of the negative publicity it probably would cut the growth.  Although I think it might be a delayed reaction.  I think there are still more vendors putting in offices in Bentonville.  But Wal-mart is the one mainly driving the better paying jobs in the area.  And yes this area is strange, who can anyone explain this area developing such a strong trucking industry here when there weren't any good roads leading into northwest Arkansas.  Fayetteville certainly benefits by Wal-mart, but it's growth seems more ties to the university and it doing well in many polls.  I believe that's one of the reasons there seem to be as many Californians here.  Quite a few of the ones I've talked to mentioned they say Fayetteville mentioned by some magazine or ranked highly in some poll.

I try not to expect too much from all of these predictions on growth.  But I certainly will say it won't happen either.  I know quite a few people have been surprised because they expected the growth to have cut off at some point and it just seems to keep going.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Fayetteville probably gets some benefit from Wal-Mart and all of the jobs, as some of the <35 single demographic would rather live there and commute to Bentonville and Rogers because it's a little more happening. However, I agree that Fayetteville is growing because it's a hip college town and would do so irrespective of what's going on in Benton Co. Places like Fayetteville, Athens, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Boulder, etc all seem to do be doing really well. A percentage of alumni (and flunki) will choose to stay and always fuel growth and Fayetteville draws its own niche of white collar jobs and small start-up cos.

In many ways Benton Co's growth has hurt Fayetteville. The South side of town is a little run down in part because there's little demand that far from Wal-Mart (which is also why Greenland never really took off as a 'burb). The airport is really vestigial at this point. It's still the retail and dining center of NWA but compared to the 80s when 95% of places you wanted to go were in Fayetteville and the nice place to go eat in Bentonville was across the Missouri border, things are substantially different. Fayetteville is left out of a lot of new development these days. John Q Hammons was interviewed about building hotels in NWA and stated that Fayetteville is essentially a dead market and everything upscale will be built in Benton Co from now on. I don't mind, though, I like Fayetteville the way it is and moderate growth is better than a burst at one time, it's easier to keep the infrastructure up.

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You make very good points.  If Wal-mart really started taking more of a beating with all of the negative publicity it probably would cut the growth.  Although I think it might be a delayed reaction.  I think there are still more vendors putting in offices in Bentonville.  But Wal-mart is the one mainly driving the better paying jobs in the area.  And yes this area is strange, who can anyone explain this area developing such a strong trucking industry here when there weren't any good roads leading into northwest Arkansas.  Fayetteville certainly benefits by Wal-mart, but it's growth seems more ties to the university and it doing well in many polls.  I believe that's one of the reasons there seem to be as many Californians here.  Quite a few of the ones I've talked to mentioned they say Fayetteville mentioned by some magazine or ranked highly in some poll.

I try not to expect too much from all of these predictions on growth.  But I certainly will say it won't happen either.  I know quite a few people have been surprised because they expected the growth to have cut off at some point and it just seems to keep going.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If Wal-Mart left (and as Aporkalypse said, that's unlikely...the most likely place I'd heard was D/FW, where they'd be just another billion dollar company. Here, they are Bentonville).

Right now there are these additional factors besides W-M and the University...

- The Wal-Mart vendors (said to be in the thousands) who've had to set up an office here;

- J. B. Hunt (seems to be a significant employer)

- Tyson (hard to believe we've got the number 2 food company on the Fortune 500 right here, when you think of how big Coca-Cola, General Mills, Philip Morris Cos., etc. are.

- Bella Vista (still seems to be getting its share of retirees)

Quite a unique mix, there.

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Fayetteville probably gets some benefit from Wal-Mart and all of the jobs, as some of the <35 single demographic would rather live there and commute to Bentonville and Rogers because it's a little more happening.  However, I agree that Fayetteville is growing because it's a hip college town and would do so irrespective of what's going on in Benton Co.  Places like Fayetteville, Athens, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Boulder, etc all seem to do be doing really well.  A percentage of alumni (and flunki) will choose to stay and always fuel growth and Fayetteville draws its own niche of white collar jobs and small start-up cos.

In many ways Benton Co's growth has hurt Fayetteville.  The South side of town is a little run down in part because there's little demand that far from Wal-Mart (which is also why Greenland never really took off as a 'burb).  The airport is really vestigial at this point.  It's still the retail and dining center of NWA but compared to the 80s when 95% of places you wanted to go were in Fayetteville and the nice place to go eat in Bentonville was across the Missouri border, things are substantially different.  Fayetteville is left out of a lot of new development these days.  John Q Hammons was interviewed about building hotels in NWA and stated that Fayetteville is essentially a dead market and everything upscale will be built in Benton Co from now on.  I don't mind, though, I like Fayetteville the way it is and moderate growth is better than a burst at one time, it's easier to keep the infrastructure up.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I got the impression that new the development that's going to replace the old Mountain Inn will be upscale and a decent-sized hotel. But I could be wrong on that. But yes I do see most of the growth and hotels being in Benton County.

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Another topic that's being discussed in some of the other topics at the moment. Just wanted to give it a bump up to the top for it to be more visible to some of the newer guys.

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Has anybody heard what they want to do to intersection of I-540 and Wagon Wheel Road?

Developers want to put truck stops in.

Personally, I think the land could be suited more for Highway Commercial Zoning instead of Truck Stops.

Springdale could develop that land into prime real-estate and may'be start projects like Rogers and Fayetteville have.

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Has anybody heard what they want to do to intersection of I-540 and Wagon Wheel Road?

Developers want to put truck stops in.

Personally, I think the land could be suited more for Highway Commercial Zoning instead of Truck Stops.

It wouldn't be my top choice for use. But I guess my question is, is there a need for this? It is close to Springdale and there is a lot of truck traffic here in northwest Arkansas. But if they ever got the 412 bypass built perhaps you'd find that a better alternative? But yes I would hope that there could be a better use of the land, especially if the area around I-540 develops the way many of us hope.

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Has anybody heard what they want to do to intersection of I-540 and Wagon Wheel Road?

I believe they announced that ground has been broken up there for a major caterpillar tractor dealership.

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I believe they announced that ground has been broken up there for a major caterpillar tractor dealership.

Are you sure you're not mistaken with J.A. Riggs Tractor Co. ground breaking of a 55,000-square-foot location housing a showroom, service area and office space. Cost of the project should total between $6 million and $7 million and has 20 acres near the Wagon Wheel Road interchange?

Unless they are the same company, I don't know.

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Are you sure you're not mistaken with J.A. Riggs Tractor Co. ground breaking of a 55,000-square-foot location housing a showroom, service area and office space. Cost of the project should total between $6 million and $7 million and has 20 acres near the Wagon Wheel Road interchange?

Unless they are the same company, I don't know.

I think we're both right...J.A. Riggs is a major Caterpillar dealer.

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Also, they are building a car lot on the Elm Springs exit in Springdale.

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Also, they are building a car lot on the Elm Springs exit in Springdale.

Really, do you know the car brand?

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Really, do you know the car brand?

Oh, I heard it, but I can't remember. I don't think it's anything new. I would really like an Audi, Porche, Jaguar, or a Lexus dealership. I think Fayetteville used to have an Audi dealership a while back though. I know a lot of people that really hate driving their car to Tulsa to have it serviced.

I think people would buy those cars. They added in a hummer dealership to the Landers thing and what happened? Everybody went and bought an H2 or whatever.

But anyway, I think this will be just another Chevy dealership.

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Oh, I heard it, but I can't remember. I don't think it's anything new. I would really like an Audi, Porche, Jaguar, or a Lexus dealership. I think Fayetteville used to have an Audi dealership a while back though. I know a lot of people that really hate driving their car to Tulsa to have it serviced.

I think people would buy those cars. They added in a hummer dealership to the Landers thing and what happened? Everybody went and bought an H2 or whatever.

But anyway, I think this will be just another Chevy dealership.

I happen to know that a Lexus dealer has decided to build around three different dealerships in Rogers along the Interstate near Bentonville. All he has revealed is a Toyota dealership, but I got the feeling a Lexus dealership is also coming, since the vast amount of wealth, and the fact that Northwest Arkansas does not have one.

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