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story.lead_photo.caption A sign post marking the city limits of Springdale Thursday, February 16, 2017, on South Thompson Boulevard in Springdale. springdale sign springdale web net

SPRINGDALE -- New development in west Springdale will enhance further a quality of life that already is improving for the city's residents, said Mayor Doug Sprouse on Tuesday.

The Planning Commission set the stage for commercial development in the overlay district between Don Tyson Parkway and Sunset Avenue west of Interstate 49. The commission approved a preliminary construction plat of a commercial subdivision and rezoning of property for commercial development. Both issues go before the City Council on Dec. 12 for approval.

Arkansas Children's Northwest and a separate multistory office building planned for the area will provide increased medical services for the residents, Sprouse said. A proposed campus of Northwest Arkansas Community College will provide increased educational opportunities. And projects under consideration by developers will provide increased entertainment opportunities, along with the already successful Arvest Ballpark.

"These will enhance the offerings for Springdale residents," Sprouse said. "And other developments are in the works. We can expect several announcements over the next few years.

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"And increased sales tax revenue from the businesses will help us better serve the citizens of Springdale," he said, speaking of city government officials and employees.

Six planning commissioners present Tuesday voted to rezone 8.81-acres along the northwest corner of Interstate 49 and Tyson Parkway from institutional use to a commercial district, which could include retail space, restaurants and hotels. The Rock of Northwest Arkansas, a church, owns the property, but plans to sell, said Patsy Christie, director of the Planning Department.

Commissioners also approved plats for Phase I of Parkway Plaza, a commercial subdivision, south of Tyson Parkway and east of 56th Street. The development also could include retail development, restaurant space and hotels, Christie said. The 25-acres will include commercial lots ranging from 2 to 4 acres, said Jason Appel with Engineering Services Inc. The next steps will be construction drawings and bidding, with the project expected to be completed in 2018, he said.

"I think especially with the medical facility being built, we're going to see more hotel and restaurant opportunities," Sprouse said. "We're going to need them."

Sprouse partly credits the development in the area surrounding the baseball stadium and future children's hospital with the overlay district established in 2012. City officials worked with property owners, Realtors and developers over several years to create the district for institutional and commercial development.

An overlay district creates boundaries in which the codes and other requirements might be different from the rest of the city, both to attract and meet the needs of development, Sprouse explained.

"Having the overlay district in place has helped us weed out some uses that the cost of development would not support," he said.

"We made some very good decisions, but along the way, we had to be very patient," he said. "I think our patience has paid off. It's more important to get it done right than to get it done fast. We've committed to quality, and our patience is being paid off in a big way. I think we're beginning to see the fruits of our labors."

Melissa Reeves, a spokeswoman for the city, also credited the residents' approval of a bond issue in 2012 with the development of Arvest Ballpark as well as the development of Tyson Parkway and its interchange with Interstate 49, and George Boulevard, which runs north and south through the overlay district.

Residents will vote Feb. 13 on extending a 1-cent sales tax and a new bond issue which will extend the parkway west to Arkansas 112 and George Boulevard north to Wagon Wheel Road, Sprouse said.

"That will probably be council's No. 1 priority when the bond issue passes," he said.

NW News on 12/06/2017

Print Headline: Commission supports proposed developments

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