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New shopping center brings road modification discussion

Posted: February 20, 2014 - 7:51pm

Major changes to the Interstate 40 interchange at Dave Ward Drive and Amity Road are being discussed, according to city planners, to accommodate the proposed new Lewis Crossing Shopping Center at the former site of the Lewis Livestock Auction Co.

Site plans, published by the Log Cabin Democrat Wednesday, show 441,871 square feet of several major anchor stores surrounded by smaller out parcels.

Commercial real estate developer Collett of Charlotte, N.C. had a promotional flyer on its website including photos of Sam’s Club and Bed Bath & Beyond storefronts. As of Thursday morning, the flyer had been removed from the site.

The City of Conway Planning Department said Thursday, the site plans for the proposed Lewis Crossing Shopping Center site have changed significantly from what originally appeared on the developer’s website.

Wes Craiglow, deputy director of planning and development for the City of Conway, said he could not confirm if the businesses in the promotional flyer had signed on as tenants of Lewis Crossing.

Calls and emails to Collett were not returned by press time Thursday.

Collett has been discussing infrastructure improvements with the City of Conway street and planning departments for about three months, said Bryan Patrick, director of planning and development for the City of Conway.

Craiglow said a traffic study of the impact area revealed the need for major infrastructure improvements, including road widening, intersection consolidation and new interior streets.

Dave Ward Drive, between Amity Road and Thomas G. Wilson Drive, will be widened to four lanes, Craiglow said, as well as a section of Amity Road where it connects to the west-side of the development site.

The developer originally proposed boundary roads, but is now planning on incorporating interior streets within the property, Craiglow said.

Major changes to the I-40 off ramp are also being discussed, Craiglow said, potentially to include two roundabouts.

With $18 million in sales tax and Arkansas Highway Department state tax approved for infrastructure related to Cantrell Field redevelopment Central Landing, Craiglow said, the City will not pay for any of the proposed street improvements.

Patrick said he anticipates Collett to submit site plans soon, and file a rezoning ordinance in late spring or early summer.

(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)

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