Summit Mall Developer Back in Arkansas on Conway Project

Summit Mall Developer Back in Arkansas on Conway Project
While the Summit Mall was to be the original property located on prime real estate in west Little Rock, Shackleford Crossing became the eventual tenant at the Shackleford Road/Interstate 430 location. (Photo by Paige Hannahs)

The redevelopment of the Conway airport site (dubbed Central Landing) marks a return to Arkansas after more than two decades for Jim Wilson & Associates of Montgomery, Ala.

Back in 1988, Jim Wilson Jr., namesake founder and CEO of the firm, assembled 97 acres in west Little Rock for what was touted as the largest retail project in Arkansas: the 925,000-SF Summit Mall.

However, Wilson’s plans were thwarted as financial reversals associated with Texas real estate investments overwhelmed him. A personal bankruptcy and bankruptcy petitions with four of his mall projects followed in October 1990.

In the aftermath, the Summit site was forfeited in lieu of foreclosure in 1991 to an affiliate of Chemical Bank of New York, which financed Wilson’s $11 million land assembly.

Jim Wilson Jr., known for his philanthropic generosity, was able to restore the company’s fortunes before he died in September 2006. Today the company is led by Jim Wilson III.

The Summit site is home to the Shackleford Crossing retail center.