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Developer Plans Outlet Mall at Gateway Town Center

2 min read

New England Development Co. of Newton, Mass., is planning a 325,000-SF outlet mall called The Outlet at Little Rock near Bass Pro Shops at the Gateway Town Center in Little Rock.

Developer Tommy Hodges, who worked for years on what ultimately became Gateway, said the development company signed a $5.2 million deal Thursday morning to buy a 30-acre tract for the mall. 

According to a New England Development Co. fact sheet, the mall would include at least 65 stores and open in 2015. You can download the fact sheet here (PDF) and see a brief on the project here.

Hodges said work on utilities for the mall would begin quickly.

An outlet mall has long been part of the plan for the Gateway Town Center, which landed its first tenant, the Bass Pro, in June 2012. The 120,000-SF outdoor sporting goods store opened late last year on its own 30-acre tract.

In August 2012, Arkansas Business reported that Joe Jackson Sr. of Boca Raton, Fla., and Rich Rucker of Silverdale, Wash., were planning an outlet mall Gateway. Hodges said Thursday that the pair are part of the group behind The Outlet at Little Rock.

Hodges also said Cavendar’s Boot City will build a 20,000-SF store at Gateway. The Tyler, Texas-based western clothing store is on track to open around the same time as the outlet mall, Hodges said.

And Malvern National Bank will begin work this spring on a bank branch at Gateway, Hodges said. The shopping center already has a First Security Bank branch. 

Gateway Town Center sits on 169 acres at the the northwest corner of Interstates 430 and 30. In addition to the retail projects, Hodges has had three hotels and five restaurants on the drawing board, with office buildings planned for the west side of the property.

“It’s going to have all the non-residential uses you can think of,” Hodges told Arkansas Business in 2012. “Town center pretty much describes what we’re trying to do.”

Hodges has been working the site since the early 2000s, leading a 2002 effort to buy and expand a 120-acre site once reserved for an “Otter Creek Mall” project that never came to fruition.

But Hodges finally broke the ice in 2010, selling a 9-acre section for $910,000 to Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. of Oklahoma City, which built a super convenience store/truck stop there. The deal for Bass Pro, the Springfield, Mo.-based chain that had long been pursued by Arkansas developers, kicked the Gateway Town Center into high gear.

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