Nov 18, 2021 - Business
Partners buy Fayetteville sweet spot
The for sale sign at the end of Rolling Hills Drive in Fayetteville. The woods will soon be homes.
The for sale sign at the end of Rolling Hills Drive in Fayetteville. The woods will soon be homes. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

After five years on the market, did you even notice the "SOLD" sign?

Driving the news: Old Missouri Land Development paid $3.42 million for 39 acres in the heart of east Fayetteville. The land, zoned for residential with some mixed use, fronts North Old Missouri Road and runs north, behind Butterfield Trail Elementary.

Why it matters: The wooded area is perhaps the largest block of undeveloped residential land in a very desirable part of Fayetteville.

  • Yes, and: Developing the land and — specifically — extending Rolling Hills Drive through the area to Crossover Road is controversial with the neighbors.

Context: Old Missouri Land Development is a limited liability company under Mission Contractors of Fayetteville. Phil Crabtree and Clay Morton are partners in Mission, which also is developing a neighborhood adjacent to nearby Gulley Park.

  • They purchased the Old Missouri land as two parcels in October from the JTK Trust (James T. Keenan).

Details: An 8-acre area is zoned as "neighborhood services general," carved out for coffee shops, dry cleaners, daycares, small office spaces and the like. Most of the land is zoned for single-family homes with as many as four houses per acre.

Flashback: After the land went up for sale, controversy started. It then became known that extending Rolling Hills Drive on the west side to Crossover Road on the east as a principal arterial street — AKA a busy street — was part of Fayetteville's master plan.

  • Residents of Huntington Woods, the neighborhood east of the land, were opposed to this, citing concerns about potential safety and noise issues.
  • In 2018, the planning commission voted to downgrade the design for Rolling Hills Drive to be a "neighborhood link."

The controversy had a chilling effect and the land stayed on the market. For now, there is no immediate plan to extend Rolling Hills Drive.

The intrigue: About 5 acres near the intersection of North Old Missouri Road and North Old Wire Road was not part of the deal.

What they're saying: Crabtree told Axios the partners don't have details to share yet, but they're working with a land planner.

  • "We love that part of Fayetteville," he said.
  • The partners say they have no intention of rezoning the land to increase commercial use, Crabtree added.

The bottom line: As NWA continues to grow and housing inventory remains low, infill developments like this should minimize urban sprawl, but traffic will remain a challenge.

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