• Comment

Development of Sale Barn could include Sam's Club

Posted: February 19, 2014 - 4:00pm

Map View

Javascript is required to view this map.

A new sign appeared Tuesday at the intersection of Amity Road and Dave Ward Drive at the former Lewis Livestock Auction Co. site advertising Lewis Crossing Shopping Center, 400,000 square feet of “power center, shop space and outparcels.”

The potential developer is commercial real estate services company Collett of Charlotte, N.C.

Promotional materials online show major anchor stores such as Sam’s Club and Bed Bath & Beyond surrounded by smaller, unidentified outparcels.

The Log Cabin Democrat has followed the potential development of a Sam’s Club since rumors first began about a year ago.

Bryan Patrick, director of planning and development for the City of Conway, said the City has been in preliminary meetings with Collett for about three months.

Although the developer has put up a sign that says the shopping center will be opening in 2015, the former sale barn site is still zoned as I-3 or Intensive Industrial District.

“They’re still a few months away from requesting a rezoning,” Patrick said.

Potential site plans show total new construction of 441,871 square feet with the largest major anchor consisting of 135,580 square feet.

President and CEO of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and Conway Development Corporation Brad Lacy said the chamber has not been directly involved in the preliminary talks, but says any type of new retail will generate revenue for the city and offer more choices, locally and regionally.

According to Faulkner County assessor records, the property is divided into four parcels three of which are owned by members of the Lewis family or the Mary Lewis Trust and one that is owned by Conway developer Rush-Hal Properties.

Patrick said he is under the impression that the different parties are working together to redevelop the property.

Preliminary meetings, Patrick said, have mostly consisted of the city and developer “working out infrastructure issues.”

“Road improvements will be required,” he said.

Once Collett finalizes their plans they will make more official submissions than the artistic renderings that appear online, Patrick said.

Patrick anticipates the developer to apply for a rezoning ordinance in late spring or early summer.

“It looks very likely that it’s going to happen,” Patrick said.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at michelle.corbet@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

  • Comment
Comments (34) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Diogenes
10716
Points
Diogenes 02/19/14 - 04:17 pm
2
1
Ha!

Folks, you heard it here first.

Elmer Fudd
4789
Points
Elmer Fudd 02/19/14 - 05:15 pm
1
0
Yep

been in the works for a long time. I would much rather have a Costco. We could be the first city in Arkansas to have one.

Stella3
302
Points
Stella3 02/20/14 - 08:42 am
5
1
Too much, too fast?

Shopping center after shopping center. New development after new development. Obviously, we are one of the fastest growing areas in the state, and I'm sure the Mayor's office & the Chamber of Commerce love this, but is it too much too fast? Wouldn't controlled, sustained growth be better for our great city?

Just think of all the street improvements ALL of these projects will take. Can we support this? And will our drivers put up with it? (Do we have enough orange barrels & cones?)

As our new projects get underway, seemingly all at the same time, more and more families and personal properties will get displaced. Do we have the patience to endure the next few years...possibly by eminent domain? Will Conway truly prosper as a whole, or just a few local fat cats, politicians, & several outsiders? Are the citizens of Conway ready to endure all the clearing & construction?

And then what? By 2020, when according to a recent report from Baptist Hospital our population will increase by 30% (?), will all of these projects be done, all the stores full, and the local economy booming? Or, will we have vacant parking lots, empty stores with papered windows, and everyone so torq'd off because we imploded?

Exciting times, but quite scary too.

####

conwaygerl
6675
Points
conwaygerl 02/20/14 - 08:47 am
3
2
So

Tearing down a business and putting another in its place is exploding growth?

Lilly03
754
Points
Lilly03 02/20/14 - 02:43 pm
2
1
Stella has a point...

Growth is great, shopping is great. but we have some really crappy streets now. And we continue to see stories about after a project is approved, then the city goes looking for ways to inject cash for streets, plants, or whatever the development calls for.
I think stella is saying, can we see the plan to pay for it before we put it on layaway. And right to ask that with the track record of this bunch.

Stella3
302
Points
Stella3 02/20/14 - 09:09 am
3
1
Think of the bigger picture

Not talking about just a sale barn & Sams here. Lewis Crossing, Central Landing, Markham Street, new airport, the western loop (w/convenience stores+), Baptist Hospital, current street projects & roundabouts, widening I40, what else is coming? I'm simply asking, can Conway's collective psyche handle the infrastructure strain of the next few years? And, will the local economy be able to sustain all the new businesses? (Do Conway/FaCo families have the incomes to constantly shop & eat out?) There may be a lot of people that don't like this, that will just see us "growing up" too fast, and leave for G'brier, Heber, Morrilton, Mayflower...it'll happen.

####

conwaygerl
6675
Points
conwaygerl 02/20/14 - 09:10 am
3
3
but

--There may be a lot of people that don't like this, that will just see us "growing up" too fast, and leave for G'brier, Heber, Morrilton, Mayflower...it'll happen.--

Wouldn't that cause explosive growth for those towns when they are flooded with refugees from Conway?

Stella3
302
Points
Stella3 02/20/14 - 09:15 am
5
2
good for them, maybe bad for us

I don't have many roots in those other towns. Doesn't matter to me.
I care about Conway.

####

ARVoiceofLogic
5627
Points
ARVoiceofLogic 02/20/14 - 09:34 am
2
1
Then you don't turn away economic growth at any level

Ask Detroit how the opposite is going.

Stella3
302
Points
Stella3 02/20/14 - 10:06 am
4
1
True, but...

The fear remains that 'too much too fast' could be unsustainable, especially without proper control. What if someone drops the ball on some phase of one of these major projects? There's a black eye, and the public loses faith. What if the national economy tanks again? Then all the development that rushed into Conway could be gutted.

It seems as though this decade is all about Conway getting a 'makeover', or subscribing to some 'new you fad diet'. But we know how most makeovers & diets end up. Without long term planning and discipline, things can worsen.

Again, hoo-ray for Conway! This all sounds wonderful. But if we're not overly careful in planning, not just for this decade but for the next generation, then perhaps our shortsightedness could turn us into a local Detroit.

####

Back to Top