Real Estate Tycoon Jim Lindsey Still Has Goal Lines to Reach

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 12:00 am  

Note: A correction has been made to this article. See end for details.

Jim Lindsey has always had a knack for doing math in his head. It’s a skill that has served him well over the years in real estate development, and his ability to multiply three-digit numbers in his head was a good source of entertainment on family trips.

Occasionally, he’ll encounter numbers that give him pause.

That was the case in 1982 when he was considering entering the multifamily residential game. Interest rates were about 14 percent and building was costly, but when he ran the numbers in his head, Lindsey figured that breaking even within a year was a very real possibility.

Lindsey put it down on paper just to be certain.

“I thought it would be good,” Lindsey said. “I saw the figures on it and I knew the math was totally in our favor. It’s worked out really good.

“I didn’t know it would be this good.”

Lindsey’s building of the Chestnut Apartments just a couple miles from the University of Arkansas campus accelerated the growth of his real estate dealings in northwest Arkansas and launched a business that has grown into the building and management of 37,000 units in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee. In addition to Lindsey Management, there’s also Lindsey & Associates Inc. and Lindsey Construction Co.

Lindsey’s success story is chronicled in a 34-minute Clint Fullen documentary narrated by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that will premiere Thursday at the UARK Bowl in Fayetteville. Fullen began “The Jim Lindsey Story” as a master’s thesis at the University of Arkansas, and AETN is expected to broadcast it later this year.

The film often centers on Lindsey’s first real estate investment. Lindsey certainly has fond memories of purchasing those 137 acres that would eventually become the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

He bought the land with a $75,000 signing bonus from the Minnesota Vikings and flipped that investment into money that helped him invest in various residential and commercial projects around the area.

But it’s those first apartments he built and how the business has grown from there that Lindsey most enjoys discussing. Perhaps the only topic that seems to excite Lindsey more than those first apartments he built is his appreciation for the UA, where he played football for the 1964 national championship team, earned a degree in math and served on the board of trustees.



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