Hundreds of jobs are expected to become available at Chaffee Crossing in the next few years as businesses open and begin to take on more employees.
Last year, Phoenix Metals announced it would relocate to Chaffee Crossing and build a 65,000 square foot facility with room for expansion. The company recently moved into the building, and all local employees are expected to report for duty within the next six weeks. The company says it plans to hire an additional 40 employees over the next five years.
Affinity Chemical is also building a new facility in that area. According to a spokesperson with the company, they're in the final stage of construction and should be open for business by April.
With voter approval, the Fort Smith School District has plans to build a third high school in the developing part of town.
The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority also recently donated 200 acres of land where a medical school will be built.
Executive Director Ivy Owen said it’s exciting to see all the new developments in the area.
"Retail and commercial follow the residential and industrial development,” Owen said. “They follow high schools, and churches follow all of that. We've got five new churches that are about to break ground out here.”
The Fort Smith Fire Department opened Station 11 at Chaffee Crossing Monday (Feb 24). It was built to fill the need for the growing population in the southeast part of town. With the new station, fire crews have cut response times to this side of town in half.
Developers from Hot Springs are clearing land at the corner of Hwy 22 and Hwy 59 for a 70-store shopping center. Owen said the mall will feature retail stores, restaurants and a hotel.