$80 Million in Debt Swamps Developers

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 12, 2012 12:00 am  

The story behind the $3 million sale to the world's largest retailer gained legendary status in northwest Arkansas real estate circles.

Schwyhart's pitch: When your executives leave their Pinnacle Hills homes, do you want the first thing they see to be a competitor's store?

At the time, Harps Food Stores Inc. of Springdale was looking to develop a grocery store on property owned by Hunt and Graham, outside the gated Pinnacle Hills entryway.

Schwyhart persuaded Wal-Mart officials to buy land across the street from the would-be Harps site that he and Thornton owned. The transaction is said to be the quickest site acquisition ever consummated by Wal-Mart.

The Harp's deal never happened. But Wal-Mart did develop a Neighborhood Market store at 5000 Pauline Whitaker Parkway, surely one of the company's nicest.



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