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New Jobs to Impact Local Restaurants, Housing Market

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With hundreds of jobs moving in to the Fort Smith area, local restaurants and realtors say it can only mean good things for business.

Lucy’s Diner serves up home-style southern food on Towson Avenue. Waitresses say when new businesses move into the area, it means more customers filling the booths.

Health Management Associates is bringing 500 jobs to Fort Smith this summer. Their offices will be located in the former Phoenix Village Mall, next to the Sykes call center.

Community leaders are excited for the job opportunities after Whirlpool closed its doors, leaving many without work.

Waitress Sandra Needham is excited, too.

“When Whirlpool went out, I think we kind of died off,” she said. “But this is really going to help because when the call center went in across the street we got a lot of business from them. Some people come in and eat lunch every day.”

But it’s not just Lucy’s Diner that will benefit from HMA moving in.

Wayne King, a local realtor, says the entire economy will see a boost.

“We feel very positive about all of the exciting things that will be happening and spinning off of this project and the fact that it’s on the south side of Fort Smith in an area that needed to have some attention,” King said.

King believes the housing market in the area will see growth.

“A lot of those people are already going to be here, some of them that they’re going to be hiring,” King said. “But also with the quality of the jobs, it’s going to allow people to move up.”

For more on how to apply for the new jobs at HMA, visit

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