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Developers Take on Stalled Subdivisions

FAYETTEVILLE--Continued low interest rates and an improving job market are driving up demand, and many long vacant neighborhoods are seeing new activity.
FAYETTEVILLE-- A long stalled subdivision is moving forward in Fayetteville.

Planning commissioners gave the go-ahead Monday, for a new team to pick up where Ruskin Heights developers left off.

The original development failed to materialize after the housing market went belly up. Lawrence Finn is taking over the development of a 63 lot subdivision overlooking Mission Boulevard.

"It is a beautiful piece of property, it's location, it's views," Finn says. "There were a number of developers that were overextending. I think that as a result of the market crash, those that were hanging out there a little too far, obviously suffered from that."

Empty subdivisions dotted the landscape of Northwest Arkansas, but Arvest Commercial Loan Manager Chris Thornton says continued low interest rates and an improving job market are driving up demand. He says many of the long vacant streets are seeing new activity.

"We need some more inventory," Thornton says. "A great place to start, it appears, is subdivisions that have kind of sat dormant... You've already got some infrastructure, or a minimal amount of work that might need to be done to bring them up to market."

Finn says taking over where others left off, allows developers to elevate the quality of the project.

"Those developers that have a strong foundation of implementation and successful projects... are picking up and benefiting, as well as the neighborhood," he says. "We're actually able to raise the bar, to meet market expectations."

The Fayetteville project, now called Mission Heights, should start taking shape by this time next year.
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