Project Venus Construction Underway
Grading and initial construction for an 825,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Barling began in February 2023. Van Trust Real Estate (VTRE) is the developer of the project. FCRA, the City of Barling, and VTRE will share the cost of installing a new traffic signal at the corner of Hwy. 22 and Mahogany Ave. to provide safe access for trucks and local traffic.
Two Breweries Approved - Axe And The Oak Distillery and Monte Cervino Beverage
Axe And The Oak Distillery and Monte Cervino Beverage, both based in Colorado Springs, CO, have announced they are moving their corporate offices to Chaffee Crossing. Axe AndThe Oak has purchased a 49,000-square-foot former military laundry facility building for its whiskey, bourbon, and gin distillery. Development plans include a tasting room and eight RV spaces behind the building for guests to park. Monte Cervino Beverage will relocate to the Chaffee Crossing Media Center on Ellis St. where they will brew wine, hard ciders, and coffee. Both companies will be located within the Chaffee Crossing Historic and Entertainment District, adding more draw to this rapidly growing area of development.
Explosive new residential construction has increased the number of Chaffee Crossing neighborhoods to 44. This brings the total number of projected units in Chaffee Crossing to nearly 4,221 with an estimated 53% of the units completed. Approximately 39% are single-family homes. The broad portfolio includes apartments, duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, Airbnb units, and affordable homes for sale or lease.
The Goddard School To Bring Much-Needed Childcare Services
The Goddard School, a national childcare franchise, broke ground for a new preschool and daycare facility on Massard Road. Local owners Brooks Coatney and Daniel and Emily Lunney will own and manage the facility. Covenant Commercial Construction is the construction supervisor.
2023 Showcase Home
The Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders broke ground in mid-February for the 2023 Showcase Home in Shire Glen on Chad Colley Blvd. This is the ninth showcase home to be constructed in a Chaffee Crossing neighborhood since 2011. Justin Green Custom Homebuilders is the builder. Mickle Griffin Engineers is the engineer for the project. The home is expected to be completed and open to the public in October 2023.
The Fort Storage and Commercial Office Space Coming to Barling
DeWayne Jones has received approval to build Phase I of a storage unit and commercial business development along Frontier Road/new Highway 255 in Barling. The first phase will include storage units only. Phase II of the development will include commercial/retail office space.
Highway 255 Construction Has Commenced
ARDOT began construction of a new 4.5-mile segment of Highway 255 through Barling in January 2023. The $26 million project will take 18-24 months to complete. Two traffic lanes and a turn lane will improve traffic flow and safety from Chaffee Crossing to Ben Geren Park on Zero St. in Barling.
Prime Entertainment Venues Galore
Festivity Event Center and Freedom Farms wedding venue have opened within the past year. Festivity has four rooms totaling 10,000 square feet that can be used for different sizes of groups and types of events. Gorgeous chandeliers, backdrop lighting, sound equipment, a lighted dance floor, two serving kitchens, private outside access to each event room, and other details set this venue apart from the pack. Freedom Farm is a 10,000-square-foot wedding barn-style venue in Barling that will host up to 350 people. Separate bride and groom suites with dressings areas and full baths open onto a balcony overlooking the guest area. A serving kitchen, bar, and outdoor facilities provide a variety of combinations to make each event unique. Both of these venues are owned and operated by Prime Entertainment.
Mercy Fort Smith/Kindred Healthcare Rehabilitation Hospital Opened on ACHE Campus
Mercy Fort Smith and Kindred Healthcare opened a 40-bed, inpatient rehabilitation hospital on the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education campus in late 2021. The 49,000-sq. ft. building estimated at $23 million boasts state-of-the-art neuro and stroke care for area residents plus learning opportunities for ACHE medical students.
Arkansas College of Health Sciences Opened Second Medical Education Building
Arkansas College of Health Education completed the construction of its second medical education building in 2020, the Arkansas Colleges of Health Science. Due to pandemic restrictions, the official dedication was delayed until December 2021. Classes were held starting in 2020 for osteopathic student doctors and Masters of Biomedical Science students. In July 2021, a new occupational therapy medical program was launched in the College of Health Sciences building and in January 2022, students of the new physical therapy education program also began classes there. The first graduation of osteopathic doctors from the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated in May 2021. For more information, visit the ACHE website.
The HUB at Providence
The HUB at Providence is an exciting mixed-use development by ERC Create along Wells Lake Road is uniquely positioned to provide much-needed commercial and retail services in Chaffee Crossing. , The HUB features the unique REVEL restaurant with upscale cuisine, commercial and retail space as well as exclusive townhomes and apartments within walking distance of ArcBest Corporation. The cozy neighborhood that has its own Entertainment District is mere steps away from the Chaffee Crossing Trail System. A short bike ride or run connects it to Ben Geren Regional Park and the Fort Smith Master Trail System. Commercial retail tenants of The HUB include the ERC Create corporate office, THE Standard Market-Cafe', Barrels & Brews Bottle Shop, Salon Savvy, The Sudar Group Realtors, and Becky Stout-Edwards Jones financial advisor.
The Village at Heritage
Arkansas Colleges of Health Education continues to develop this mixed-use commercial/retail area on its campus with an active Entertainment District area. The first two buildings include 27,000 square feet on the bottom floor for commercial, retail, and restaurant spaces. Construction of a third mixed-use building is expected to be completed in late 2023. A large green space and community event pavilion with public seating are situated in the center of the complex. Visit the Heritage Community website to learn more about the classic southern comfort and new traditions in this area of the ACHE campus. Commercial and retail tenants include Heritage Group Real Estate Co., Chasen Garrett Architects, Las Americas Too and Heritage Pizza Parlour restaurants, Vargas Fruteria, Nailology, Luxe Beauty Bar, Parker Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic, and Card and Cloth retail dress shop attract residents from all over the area.
ArcBest Corp. Headquarters Has Room To Grow
ArcBest Corporation opened a new headquarters building in June 2017, conveniently situated between McClure Drive, R.A. Young Jr. Drive, and Wells Lake Road. The three-story building adjacent to the McClure Amphitheater and multi-use trails sits high atop Chaffee Crossing's western ridge overlooking southwest Fort Smith and Ben Geren Regional Park. The publicly-traded transportation and logistics company currently employs approx. 800 at this location but has the capacity for 975. ArcBest Corp. purchased 70-acres from FCRA to accommodate future expansion that may also include commercial development.
New Dog Park on Fort Chaffee Blvd.
FCRA, the City of Fort Smith, and Sebastian County are partnering to develop a new dog park on Fort Chaffee Blvd. adjacent to the Sebastian County soccer fields. Both FCRA and Sebastian County are donating land for the project. FCRA will design the park. This park will replace the dog park on Massard Rd. that closed in 2021. Dog owners are ecstatic to have a new place for their furry friends. Check out the joint news release here.
The Chaffee Crossing Trail System - Phase I
FCRA and the City of Fort Smith completed Phase I of a 6.5-mile trail system that will eventually circumnavigate Chaffee Crossing. The $1.5 million project was funded by contributions of $500,000 each from FCRA and the City of Fort Smith plus a $500,000 TAP grant from ARDOT. The 10-ft. wide multi-use trail begins at Chad Colley Blvd., where it connects to existing sidewalks on the ACHE campus, and travels west along Roberts Blvd., then south along a greenbelt parallel to Wells Lake Road, ending at the River Valley Community Church campus at McClure Drive and Wells Lake Road. Two more phases of trials are planned in partnership with the City of Fort Smith.
Historic and Entertainment District Development
The Barracks at Chaffee Crossing
Developer Rival Commercial RE, LLC purchased 32 former barrack and military admin buildings in the Chaffee Crossing Historic and Entertainment District with plans to transform them into The Barracks at Chaffee. Two shipping containers will be installed in the parking lot at Ward Ave. and Ellis St. to serve as a hosting facility for community events. The mixed-use community will feature restaurants, retail shopping, and live-above apartments and Airbnb units. Fort Smith Coffee Co, Phat Tire Bike Shop, Blessed Bee Bakery, and Dash Aesthetics are the first businesses to announce they will be moving into retail spaces at The Barracks. Rival previously renovated two single-story buildings occupied by Phat Tire Bike Shop-Arkansas (temporarily until their permanent building is finished) and Seiter Design Co., a graphic design and custom t-shirt printing company, Hum Salon, and the Rival Commercial RE business office. The remaining buildings are in various stages of completion.
The Vue Event Center Has Repurposed A Former Military Theater and Dance Hall
Developer Dan Hill has transformed a former military theater and dance hall into a gorgeous intimate space for weddings, birthday parties, showers, family reunions, dances, and other celebrations. The Vue Venue is located at 12105 Ward Ave. facing The Barracks at Chaffee development.
Diades Investments Converts The Warehouse at Chaffee for Commercial and Retail Use
Diades Investments, LLC purchased five warehouse buildings located in the 7400 block of Ellis Street to convert into a mixed-use property for retail, professional office, and restaurant space. The $3.5 million project included exterior upgrades that complement surrounding historic buildings, landscaping, an upgraded boardwalk along the street front, and attractive outdoor lighting. HSA Engineering, located in Warehouse #2, features a post-modern industrial-style interior with exposed structural beams complemented by glass, brick, and refurbished hardwood floors. Prospective tenants include restaurants and other commercial tenants. Leasing is available through Ghan & Cooper Commercial Properties.
Old Fort Furniture Opened The First Retail Business in CCHD
Old Fort Furniture is the first retail store in the Chaffee Crossing Historic and Entertainment District. The 9,000-square foot WWII-era Army warehouse-turned-furniture-store features a variety of furniture options for all decorating budgets. Their feature product line is Our Home, traditional, American-made furniture that will last a lifetime and can be handed down for generations.
Honeycomb Investments Creates Commercial Spaces
Honeycomb Investments owners Jennifer Parks and her husband Brian Slavens were the first entrepreneurs to purchase a historic 1941-era building for a commercial business since the buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Jennifer's Medicare insurance business is located in their second building. The commercial and retail lease spaces are occupied by a Farmers Insurance office and other professional service businesses.
Fort Smith Brewing Company In The Entertainment District
Great excitement and good times are everyday occurrences in Fort Smith Brewing Company, located in a converted warehouse in the heart of the Chaffee Crossing Entertainment District that was created in 2020. The upstart microbrewery is brewing its own unique recipes as well as recipes for other brewers. A tasting room and a spacious outdoor deck welcome visitors seven days a week. Tours of the operation are available upon request. Watch their Facebook page for special events and theme nights.
Transforming The “Elvis Barrack" Into A Museum Gallery
Phase II construction is progressing on Building #823, otherwise known as the "Elvis Barrack" where Elvis Presley was temporarily stationed in March 1958 before being sent to Fort Hood for training. Structural repairs and renovations will transform the barracks into exhibit space for the Museum of Chaffee History. Construction on the project is a work in progress as funding is available. Renovations to date have been made possible through a multi-phase grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority capital investments.
Chaffee Crossing Veterans Memorial
The Chaffee Crossing Veterans Memorial in the heart of the Chaffee Crossing Historic District was dedicated in November 2017. The memorial features engraved bricks, benches, and an area for static displays. The memorial is a significant step toward honoring veterans of all armed services, past and present who trained or were based at Fort Chaffee. Personalized engraved bricks honoring Chaffee veterans, family members, friends, and businesses are part of the plaza pathway.