A developer in Van Buren County kicked off a $5 million residential development in Fairfield Bay with a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday.
This is the biggest home development the city has seen in more than 25 years, city officials said.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.; U.S Rep. French Hill, R-Ark; Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin; and state Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View were expected to attend the event for the new Osage Point Luxury Townhomes at 721 Woodlawn Drive.
Noacon Inc. of Shirley is the developer. Noacon CFO Mike Lester told Arkansas Business that the company partnered with the city and the Fairfield Bay Community Club on the project, which Noacon has been working on for about 18 months.
The project sits on nearly five acres, which Noacon purchased from the club. The city has provided a street to the development, and the club is furnishing it with sewer service, Lester said.
The developer intends to build 20 townhomes over the next two or three years. There will be two homes per building.
One building with two model units will be built first; the developer expects it to be complete by the end of May. The other homes will be built as they are purchased.
The 2,272-SF townhomes will have panoramic views of Greers Ferry Lake from a height of up to 1,148 feet. There will be views from the townhomes' kitchens, living rooms, master bedrooms, dining rooms, lofts, patios and front entries.
"Fairfield Bay is growing, and our community partners are enthusiastically responding," Mayor Paul Wellenberger said in a news release. "This new housing development makes Fairfield Bay even more attractive and appealing, and continues to shine a light on this beautiful city."
In an interview, Wellenberger told Arkansas Business that the city's decision to market and reopen its repaired conference center led to Fairfield Bay's upward trend in real estate sales and sales tax revenue. He said the development could help the city attract a hotel.
Lester expects that most of the people who buy the townhomes are currently living in Little Rock or outside the state in places like Memphis; St. Louis; Kansas City, Missouri; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Lester said local real estate agents told him they'd had to turn away soon-to-be retirees and those looking for vacation homes amid a lack of new and vacant residences. The mayor agreed that the real estate agents need more inventory to match increased demand.
Lester said the townhomes would be marketed to retirees, professionals who would commute to larger cities and people looking to buy vacation homes.
"Fairfield Bay is probably one of the best well-kept secrets for fairly inexpensive living in a resort environment," he added.