A Rich History
Fort Chaffee was established in western Arkansas in September 1941. Originally designated as Camp Chaffee, the site included 72,000 acres of predominantly farmland.
Combat training was initiated at Camp Chaffee in 1941 and most of the major buildings on the site were completed by the following year. From 1942 to 1946, Camp Chaffee was also used as a German prisoner of war facility. For several years after World War II, Camp Chaffee was placed on inactive standby status until the advent of the Korean War in 1950, which resulted in its reactivation as the Headquarters for the 5th Armored Division.
In 1956, the site was chosen as the U.S. Army Training Center for Field Artillery and was permanently established as Fort Chaffee. Between 1961 and 1974, Fort Chaffee was declared inactive and placed under caretaker status, and then reactivated on several different occasions.
In 1975, Fort Chaffee was used as a relocation center for the Vietnamese refugee program and then for Cuban refugees from 1980 to 1982. Fort Chaffee also served as the temporary home, between 1987 and 1993, for the Joint Readiness Training Center.
In 1995, the defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended the permanent closure of Fort Chaffee. The federal government opted to lease 65,000 acres to the Arkansas Army National Guard to be used for training. The remaining 7,000+ acres were turned over to local communities for redevelopment. The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority was formed in 1997.
The Authority is dedicated to ensuring that this great opportunity reaches its full potential. They are stewards of this resource and will ensure that the public receives the full market potential for the property. To accomplish this, guidelines are required to enhance and perpetuate property values, to manage the timing of land sales to coincide with supply and demands in the market, and to schedule efficient expansion of the infrastructure. In addition to economic stewardship, the natural resources of the area must be conserved and the history of the area must be honored in the new community. Authority members believe that sustaining property values is a critical element of their stewardship. They believe that each new building sets a standard or precedent for the buildings that will follow. They believe that there is value in design and that design can be incorporated into a site or building in an affordable way. They believe that design guidelines can establish a level of quality while still leaving room for creativity and expression. They believe that design guidelines can ensure that this will become a community where parents will be proud to show their children where they work.
Chaffee Crossing will become a community where buildings hold their value over time, and a place where the older may be more valuable than the new. This will be a community where builders can be assured that subsequent builders will honor the investment they have made.