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Chenal Growth Adds $80 Million in Development.

Four-Lane Parkway Paved With Gold

A PORTION OF WEST Little Rock has grown exponentially since a lone Phillips 66 gas station first appeared at Bowman Road and Chenal Parkway in the early 1990s.

Beginning with the $413,000 land deal in March 1991 that heralded the coming of the convenience store and car wash, Chenal Parkway and part of Bowman Road became a hot spot for retailers attracted to the new, upscale residential base of west Little Rock. Developers have worked with such verve that in the past five years more than $80 million dollars in retail property has sprung up along the two roads.

"That's where the residential growth is -- Chenal Parkway," developer Rick Ashley Jr. says. "It still continues to grow. They're going to shop up and down Chenal and that Bowman Curve area ..."

Strip malls and stand-alone category killers have opened along the four-lane stretch that begins where Interstate 630 ends. Stores like Barnes & Noble, Pier 1 Imports, Old Navy, Gateway and Best Buy have moved in, joining Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sam's Wholesale Club. New shopping centers, like the $5.6 million Bowman Station and the $15.5 million Chenal Place, have joined Bowman Road's Rock Creek Square, home of mainstays like Gene Lockwood's Sports Mart.

Willis Smith, who's West Group LLC is behind Bowman Station and Chenal Place, says the Wal-Mart/Sam's Club project kick-started much of the growth. The Bentonville-based retailer completed part of its $20 million Wal-Mart/Sam's Club development at the southwest corner of Bowman and Chenal in 1993. Not surprisingly, property values on the corner increased. For example, the Pier Group, led by George Mihalko, paid $11.74 per SF for the 38,333-SF site that would become Pier 1 Imports' second location in central Arkansas (the first was built in North Little Rock's Lakewood Village shopping center).

About 5 years later, West Group developed the Bowman Station project, which lies across Bowman from Sam's. The center is anchored by 28,000-SF CompUSA store. Space is still available at the Bowman Station in 1,200-SF or 15,000-SF sections.

Across Chenal Parkway at the northeast corner with Bowman lies the $4 million Linen N Things and $3.2 million Best Buy stores. Behind Best Buy on Autumn Road lies the $3 million Sports Authority store and Chenal Center, a 2.5 acre, 26,510-SF retail development began by the David Pickering Co. And across Autumn on Chenal lies the 90,000-SF plus Barnes & Noble/Toys R Us/PetsMart combo managed by Barnes Quinn Flake & Anderson.

That property, of course, lies across Chenal from the $7.5 million, 110,000-SF Home Quarters, which opened in 1995 and is now in the throes of a corporatewide going-out-of-business sale. The HQ development also occupies 30,000 SF outside the building and 5,000 SF for the greenhouse.

A 38,000-SF Bed Bath & Beyond and a 24,100-SF Staples anchor West Group's other project, Chenal Place, which opened this year northwest of Wal-Mart on Chenal Parkway. Men's Wearhouse, which occupies 6,000-SF outparcel space, also opened. Open space remains in the 92,400-SF center.

"We have some people circling," Smith says. "There's some good tenants out there, it's just trying to nail them down."

Smith says, the larger stores, like Staples and Bed Bath & Beyond -- and Old Navy in the neighboring Chenal Commons development -- will attract tenants to the remaining small spaces.

Across the parkway from Chenal Commons lies Perris Plaza, developed by Ashley's Ashley Co. The plaza, which houses retailers like the Family Entertainment Superstore, Rock Creek Wine & Spirits and Norwalk Furniture Idea, sprang out of $2.59 million, 9.1-acre land deal.

West down the parkway lies the newly opened Chenal Commons, a $7.5 million development boasting 65,000 SF. The Old Navy and a 24,000-SF Office Max anchor the development.

Ashley says growth along the Parkway could someday extend to Dairyland and beyond, due in part to the residential growth taking place there.

"That's a pretty good statement by Kroger to move out that far. It's going to come. It's going to develop all they way out to that Kroger area, what can be developed commercially," he says. "And once there, it's going to jump beyond that, all the way out to Highway 10."

Smith says that growth along Chenal seems to have slowed, but he expects it to pick up again at the first of the year. Long term, Smith says the long-planned Summit Mall would spur more development in west Little Rock.

"If the mall ever happens, it's going to fill in from the mall all the way down Shackleford, which it's already seen [growth on] Shackleford from the Lexus dealership to the Heart Hospital. Then it'll come down Kanis," Smith says. "That just seems the normal progression of the area it'll grow in."

Developers began planning a mall for west Little Rock in 1988. The mall would sit on 95 acres on Interstate 430 in west Little Rock, south of the Arkansas Heart Hospital. Developers hope to see the $40 million-$50 million project complete by 2003.

Some Chenal Parkway and Bowman Road Developments and Their Values

The table below contains figures obtained from the latest records at the Pulaski County Assessor's Office except where noted. Value includes land and improvements, such as construction, asphalt, signage, utilities, etc. Owner, where available, appears in italics.

Shopping center at 11500 Financial Center Parkway (Chenal Parkway), managed by Barnes Quinn Flake & Anderson.

PetsMart--valued at $2,624,530 (land: $947,520; improvement: $1,677,010); Catholic Book Publishing Corp. of Totona, NJ.

Toys R Us--valued at $2,172,020 (land: $975,740; improvements: $1,196,280); RJ Realty LP of Totona, NJ.

Barnes & Noble -- valued at $1,938,000 (land: $882,350; improvement: $1,055,650); Thomas F. Grojean & M. Therese of Phoenix.

Chenal Center at 11600 Chenal Parkway, a 26,510-SF development built on 2.5-acres assembled in four land buys totaling $188,000. [*]

Lifeway Christian Store

Leather Studio

Paint Depot

Plants Plants

Spots Authority at 11700 Chenal Parkway -- cost $3 million [*]

Best Buy at 11800 Chenal Parkway -- valued at $3,246,500 (land: $1,674,780; improvements: $1,571,720); Joe-Rob Partnership.

Linens N Things at 501 S. Bowmans Road -- cost $4 million [*]

HQ (Home Quarters) at 11801 Chenal Parkway -- project valued at $7,502,800 (land: $3,959,440; improvements: $3,543,360); Brand X Delaware of Largo, Md.

CompUSA at 801-A.S. Bowman Road -- anchors $5.6 million Bowman Station [*]

Pier 1 Imports at 724 S. Bowman Road -- $803,220 (land: $459,180; improvements: $344,040); ACU Pier Little Rock LLC.

Wal-Mart at 700 S. Bowman Road -- valued at $11,215,500 (land: $5,715,500; improvements: $5,500,000); Wares Delaware of Bentonville.

Sam's Wholesale Club 900 S. Bowman Road -- valued at $8,755,640 (land: $4,854,100; improvements: $3,901,540); Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Gateway Country Stores at 12018 Chenal Parkway -- valued at $1,294,520 (land: $901,260; improvements: $393,260); Insite Little Rock LLC of Oak Brook, Ill.

Part of 9.1-acre Perris Plaza 12310 Chenal Parkway. Sources estimate worth at $8 million.

Norwalk Furniture Idea

Rock Creek Wine & Spirits (12400 Chenal Parkway)

Cookies by Design

Antique Rose

Georgia Carpet Outlet (8701 W. Markham St.)

International Golf

Family Entertainment Superstore

Park of 92,400-SF, $15.5 million Chenal Place Shopping Center. [*]

Men's Wearhouse

Bed Bath & Beyond


Part of $7.5 million Chenal Commons, 65,000-SF development built on 5.48 acres, purchased for $2.6 million. [*]

Office Max

Old Navy

David's Bridal

Noodle Kidoodle

Anchor of the Dairyland Shopping Center, a planned 250,000-SF center on 25 acres by Whisenhunt Development.

Kroger at 16105-D Chenal Parkway -- 63,000 SF project valued at $4,222,380 (land: $1,20,000; improvements: $3,202,380); Shackleford Family Limited Partnership.

Not officially part of Rock Creek; sublet by Wal-Mart.

Books-A-Million at 12201 W. Markham St.

Hobby Lobby at 12201 W. Markham St.

Both valued $4,224,590 (land: $2,314,870; improvement: $1,909,720); Sheridan Limited Partnership.

Rock Creek Square at 100 Rock Creek Square, on 4.15 acres the Bailey Corp. Purchased for $2.8 million in 1994. [*]

Southern Maid Donuts

Jordan Bros. Bedding

Unpainted Furniture Center

Blockbuster Video

Gene Lockwood's Sports Mart at 12101 W. Markham St. -- 40,000 SF project valued at $613,000 (land: $400,000; improvements: $213,000); J. Norma Lockwood and H.S. Tenenbaum.

Part of the 36,000-SF Bowman Heights center at 301 S. Bowman Road, valued at $2,398,970 (land: $813,350; improvements: $1,585,620); Bowman Heights LLC.

Mattress Firm

RadioShack 301

Converse Factory Store

Merle Norman Cosmetics


S&K Menswear

Family Christian Store

(*.) Indicates values reported in previous editions of Arkansas Business.
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Comment:Chenal Growth Adds $80 Million in Development.
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Previous Article:West LR Mall May Open in 2003.
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