Construction For 70 Store Shopping Center In Barling Expected To Begin Next Year

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BARLING (KFSM)- A lot at the intersection of Highway 59 and Highway 22 in Chaffee Crossing will soon be home to an 800,000 sq. ft. shopping center.

“People in Barling are really excited about it because of the real-estate taxes and sales taxes that`ll be generated,” Executive Director Ivy Owen, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority said. “We`re excited because it`s happening. It`s a mall.”

Owen said the project’s developer paid more than $1 million for the land, and the project itself is expected to cost around $100 million.

“This developer leases that type of property all the time, so he has contacts with tenants that lease that type of property nationwide, and that`s who they`re marketing it to,” Owen said.

Jennifer Key lives in Charleston, and said she has to drive to Fort Smith when she wants to go shopping.

“It`s a lot closer to Charleston, so it`s a lot more stores for me to venture into,” Key said.

Owen said the mall will have 70 stores with several spaces for restaurants and other businesses.

“There will be some local stores in there I`m sure, but I think most of them will be national chains,” he said.

Owen told 5NEWS he expects the developer to break ground by mid-2016, and said this is the first commercial development to come to Barling.

He said the developer was waiting for Interstate 49 to open, which led to some setbacks on the project.

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