Conway Reimagined For $100M And Change

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 12:00 am  

Collett officials couldn’t be reached for comment on Lewis Crossing, which represents the firm’s first Arkansas development.

The company has developed 95 projects encompassing 14 million SF of retail space since opening for business in 1987. Collett owns and manages about 6 million SF of retail space in eight states with the bulk of its portfolio in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Lewis Crossing and the Baptist project are near the southern end of a widened 8.2-mile stretch of I-40 that will open to six-lane traffic this year. The $44.6 million improvement is the first phase to expand I-40 to six lanes between Conway and Interstate 430 in North Little Rock.

Central Landing

The timetable of the Central Landing project is linked with the opening of the new $30 million Conway airport in five months.

The new and improved Cantrell Field is near the Arkansas River in the Lollie Bottoms area in southwest Conway, about 6 miles as the corporate jet flies from the original airport.

The rural 180-acre site facilitated construction of a 5,500-foot runway to better accommodate larger aircraft. That compares with the 4,875-SF main runway at the current location.

Plans call for the city to transfer ownership of the old airport property to Cantrell Field Joint Venture LLC 90 days after the scheduled completion of the new airport in mid-August.

The redevelopment of the airport site into Central Landing is a team effort between Conway Development Corp., a local nonprofit business booster, and Jim Wilson & Associates LLC of Montgomery, Ala.

“We’ve never had a joint venture like this,” CDC’s Lacy said. “It’s a big risk for us because we’re a 50-50 partner on this.”

In its heyday during the 1980s, Jim Wilson & Associates was considered one of the largest mall developers in the South. The development firm has more than 21 million SF of shopping center space on a resume that includes office projects, condominiums and master-planned residential neighborhoods.

Jim Wilson III, CEO and second generation namesake of the company, couldn’t be reached for comment.



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