Dormant Shackleford Crossings Awakens

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 12, 2007 12:00 am  

Clary Development president Sean Glancy, left, chairman and CEO Steve Clary and vice president Jeff Maxwell stand at the Shackleford Crossings development site in west Little Rock.

For nigh on 20 years, a wooded, hilly tract covering 97 acres was known as the future home of Little Rock’s largest retail center. The development potential of the southwest corner of Interstate 430 and Shackleford Road finally is becoming realized after years of dormancy.
But instead of the 925,000-SF Summit Mall originally envisioned for the land, construction activity is transforming the west Little Rock site into the $100 million Shackleford Crossings development. Making the project happen is Little Rock’s Clary Development Corp., best known for a roster of commercial projects outside of Little Rock and in nine other states.
“It’s not our biggest project,” said Steve Clary, chairman and chief executive officer of his namesake firm. “But it definitely is our biggest project in Little Rock.”
The “lifestyle center” portion of the project will encompass 585,000 SF, and the final tally of retail space could reach as high as 650,000 SF depending on who eventually sets up shop on out-parcels along Shackleford Road.
At 585,000 SF, Shackleford Crossing would rank as the eighth-largest retail center in Arkansas. If the larger number pans out, the project would move up to No. 6.
Plans call for the south end of the site to become home to about 100,000 SF of office and hotel space.
Two Shackleford Crossing retailers are coming at the expense of Little Rock’s University Mall. J.C. Penney’s will move into a free-standing 104,430-SF store at the north end of the project.
The Dunlap Co. of Fort Worth will close its M.M. Cohn store in University Mall and replace it with a 36,000-SF Dunlaps at Shackleford Crossing. It will be next door to a 30,000-SF Babies “R” Us.
This “power center” piece of the project on the west side of the property also will house two mid-sized tenants of 20,000 SF and 34,000 SF.
Goody’s Family Clothing Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn., though unconfirmed, is another retailer associated with Shackleford Crossings. In months gone by, Goody’s and Dunlap both were named as prospective tenants at a proposed retailing center at the northwest corner of I-430 and Col. Glenn Road: The Village at Brodie Creek.
Shackleford Crossing will feature six interior buildings, encompassing 155,000 SF, divided into shop space as small as 2,000 for tenants such as Sally Beauty Supply. Other named tenants include Rack Room Shoes (6,000 SF) and Alltel Wireless (3,200 SF) and two restaurants, Panda Buffet (7,500 SF) and Fu-Weng (6,000 SF).
“Our objective is for most of our tenants to open in time to coincide with Penney’s opening in October,” Clary said.
On the southern half of the property, a 203,000-SF Wal-Mart Supercenter is expected to open in 2008 to replace the Wal-Mart at 700 S. Bowman Road. If the plan falls into place, the nation’s largest retailing chain will redevelop the Bowman location, which is next door to a Sam’s Club, into a Neighborhood Market grocery store. (See related story, Page 1.)
“They want that Supercenter,” said Sean Glancy, president of Clary Development. “They originally wanted to start in March — now.”
Construction of the Supercenter is on hold until Comcast Cable develops new quarters for its customer and technical service center. The present 3.5-acre location at 2724 S. Shackleford Road will become part of the Wal-Mart project.
Part of the existing Comcast property will be redeveloped into an entryway, one of four signaled entryways.
Clary Development is buying the property from Comcast, which will move to a 5.5-acre site at the southeast corner of Shackleford Crossings. Comcast is getting the land at no cost as part of the transaction.
Construction of the new Comcast facility is scheduled to start April 3 and be completed as early as October.
Clary Development is selling the 25.11-acre Wal-Mart site and the 9.96-acre Penney’s location. The Penney’s sale closed two weeks ago at $903,000.
Deals also have been struck to sell two out-parcels in the northeast corner of the development.
Cracker Barrel will locate on a 2.56-acre site, and Searcy’s First Security Bank will establish a branch on an adjoining 1.66 acres to the south. Six more out-parcels along Shackleford will be either sold or leased.
Activity at Shackleford Crossing is shifting from site work, which began in June 2006 with bulldozers and dump trucks used to clear trees and move 1.85 million cubic yards around the site.
Construction of $7 million worth of road improvements to support increased traffic should begin in the next few days. First up is adding a fifth lane to the Shackleford Road-Interstate 430 overpass.
Also on the drawing board in the coming weeks are improving the interstate ramps and adding three lanes to Shackleford Road south from I-430 to the current Comcast location.
The remaining project frontage on Shackleford Road will be widened to five lanes after Comcast moves into its new quarters. Planned road improvements call for smoothing out the current rolling ride of Shackleford Road as well.
Right-of-way dedication will slice off about 3.5 acres, none of which will come from Shackleford Crossings’ neighbor to the east, Camp Aldersgate.
This move will preserve the camp’s existing green belt along Shackleford Road, which Clary Development will help expand. This is in addition to the 50-foot landscape buffer on Shackleford Crossings’ side of the road.
“It’s going to be the best landscaped street in town, I promise,” said Jeff Maxwell, vice president of Clary Development.
Sarah Wacaster, executive director of Camp Aldersgate, said protecting the natural setting of the camp for children with disabilities and medical conditions is critical.
Clary Development “has been good to us in terms of our thoughts and needs,” Wacaster said. “They are working with us to help protect our property from the increased traffic on Shackleford Road.
“It’s been good, as a partnership should be. I’m glad they are willing to work with us, and I hope they continue to work with us through the years.”

Click here for a timeline of the Shackleford Crossings development project.

Click here for a look at a map of the project.



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