Historic District Development

The Chaffee Crossing Historic District is a unique area in the middle of the 7,000-acre Chaffee Crossing development where WWII-era history is combining with modern planning to create a walkable urban community. The Historic District Master Plan includes mixed-use areas with residential spaces, restaurants, recreational and entertainment venues, retail shops, commercial and service businesses as well as public areas.


Chaffee Crossing’s historic district warmly embraces the region’s rich history with a variety of venues appealing to people of all ages and interests. Area educators are seeking to build schools, education and training facilities nearby. The combination of education and tourism in this district is creating an attractive environment for new businesses. 


Within the Historic District, mini-districts are proposed.


 - The Legacy District is home to museums, art cooperatives and businesses in renovated barracks and administration buildings. New businesses include a full-service barbershop, a graphic design studio, an insurance office, and a yoga studio.


 - The Enterprise District includes retail and commercial businesses requiring more parking spaces and greater visibility on through streets. The Warehouse District along the east side of Ellis Street features a furniture store, a microbrewery, restaurants, a museum and commercial office space. Additional warehouses are available for sale and development. Ellis St. and Fort Chaffee Blvd. will remain private drives, allowing them to be closed for public events.


 - The Warehouse District along the east side of Ellis Street features a furniture store, a microbrewery, restaurants, a museum, and commercial office space. Additional warehouses are available for sale and development. At this time, Ellis St. is a private drive, allowing closure for public events.


 - The Memorial District includes proposed plans for a walking path, with historically relevant features and interpretive panels paying tribute to veterans of all wars since Camp Chaffee/Fort Chaffee was founded in 1941. 



Historic District Design Guidelines

Like all developments in Chaffee Crossing, new and rehabilitation construction in the Historic District is subject to prior approval by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority Design Review Committee. Developers are encouraged to become familiar with the guidelines that are intended to create a consistent, attractive community that complies with both City of Fort Smith and FCRA design standards.

Click here to download a PDF of the Chaffee Crossing Historic District Design Guidelines.

Rehabilitation Tax Credits Available

The Chaffee Crossing Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This qualifies approximately 60 buildings within its boundaries for Rehabilitation Tax Credits. These buildings are available for sale and renovation. The federal rehabilitation tax credit allows up to 20% of approved expenses to be claimed for the restoration of historic buildings. The federal tax credit can be combined with state rehabilitation tax credits up to 25%. Learn more about these tax credits and other preservation services provided by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.


 Click here to download the Historic District National Register List PDF

Recent News

Mar 29, 2022

Since 1975 and the arrival of Vietnamese refugees, Fort Chaffee has been a relocation center for those displaced from their homes due to war and natural disasters. Because of Fort Chaffee, a Vietnamese community took hold in Fort Smith. The work at Fort Chaffee and area sponsors helped Vietnamese people relocate after trips by boats and airplanes to flee Vietnam at the end of the war.

Mar 25, 2022

On this day 64 years ago, the “haircut heard 'round the world” changed music history forever. As a 23-year-old Elvis Presley sat in the barber’s chair at Fort Chaffee barbershop in Fort Smith, Arkansas, his disappearing signature sideburns and pompadour unequivocally confirmed what lie ahead - a two-year tour of duty in the US Army and, much to the dismay of millions of fans around the world, a lengthy postponement of his trailblazing ascent as the young "King of Rock ’n' Roll." In a light-hearted moment with the onlooking press, Elvis jested, “Hair today, gone tomorrow!”

Mar 24, 2022

Elvis Presley got his GI buzz at the Fort Chaffee Barbershop 64 years ago. On Saturday, March 26 this year, free haircuts will be offered again to commemorate the historic buzz cut.

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