NWA Retail Space Looks Poised for Rebound

by Serenah McKay  on Monday, Jul. 4, 2011 12:00 am  

Retailers and restaurants continue to show interest in the areas around Pinnacle Hills Promenade and Pleasant Crossing in Rogers and the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville.

Brokers at Sage Partners in Fayetteville point to Ashley Furniture Homestore's planned opening, pending approval from the city of Rogers, in the 50,000-SF Sportsman's Warehouse building in Pleasant Crossing as a sign of that area's growth potential.

Also, the recent purchase of the 21,000-SF Circuit City building in Fayetteville, empty for more than two years, by an Atlanta investor group shows confidence in the region, said T.J. Lefler, vice president of Sage Partners.

One of the few new buildings is a retail space on Wedington Road in Fayetteville currently leased to Cross Church, Lefler said.

The new Neighborhood Market on Wedington has sparked development in that corridor, Bennett said.

"And I think that the downtown Bentonville area is an area to keep an eye on as Crystal Bridges gets closer to opening," he said.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, scheduled to open Nov. 11, is expected to draw 150,000 to 300,000 visitors in its first year.

In Rogers, a new four-building development north of the Promenade called Promenade Pointe Shopping Center is filling quickly.

"I think that we will continue to see significant retail demand for high-quality, well-positioned retail properties such as that one," Bennett said.

And Fayetteville's Dickson Street continues to attract new businesses and lease activity, said Alan Cole, Lane's colleague at Colliers.

On the other hand, some parts of northwest Arkansas are having a harder time attracting new tenants. Bennett said these include some of the "more mature" areas along Highway 71B.

These "second-generation" retail centers don't seem to attract as much attention as newer construction, he said. Plus, they often need remodeling to suit new tenants, and the costs involved pose challenges when tenants and landlords are trying to work out a deal.



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