Tommy Hodges Brings Life to Dormant Mall Site with Gateway Town Center

by George Waldon  on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 12:00 am  

Otter Creek developer Tommy Hodges gets Gateway Town Center moving with two retail deals. [Photo by Jason Burt]

Crain Ford is one of three auto dealerships under construction near the Col. Glenn exit of I-430. New locations for Ellis Infiniti and Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep also are taking shape to the south of the Crain dealership.

As construction of the auto dealerships progresses, more potential deals are circling the Village at Brodie Creek.

"The owners are committed to sit tight until we find the right anchor for it, whether it's retail or something else," said Hank Kelley, a partner in the project.

"We think our time is coming with the opening of the Crain dealership and some of the development work now behind us and some of the commercial sites around us being consumed."

Looking Back

The Bass Pro Shops deal marks the second spark of activity in two years on Little Rock property long envisioned for commercial development.

Town Center LLC, led by Tommy Hodges, sold a 9.05-acre site Sep-tember 2010 for $910,000 to Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. of Oklahoma City.

The super convenience store/truck stop that followed is the first completed commercial project on a site originally labeled as the future home of the Otter Creek Mall.

Until Love's, the property lay dormant as a proposed development for nearly 40 years.

While the Love's project broke the ice, Bass Pro Shops is expected to be a bell cow of the highest order with a string of development activity to follow.

Dan Robinson, a veteran player on the Little Rock real estate scene, said that striking a deal with Bass Pro Shops underscores more than eight years of
persistence by Hodges.

"That's going to cause no telling how many more retailers to go in out there," Robinson said. "What Tommy accomplished is a major, major watershed for development.



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