A new mall construction project is officially underway at Chaffee Crossing, and officials say it will bring jobs and major development.
Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority Director Ivy Owen said the construction plan is for a $60,000,000 mall, creating 700 jobs that will bring hotels, restaurants and 70 new stores to Barling.
“'It`s a huge deal,” Owen said. “It`s a big economic boost to Barling and Sebastian County.”
Owen said the benefits go beyond the money from shopping.
“The big benefit initially is going to be the real estate tax benefit to the city of Barling.”
Owen said the mall will open in about two years, but people in the area said they are ready for it be here now.
“My girls are teenagers,” said Tina Duttko. “They love shopping, and they are very excited to see this coming to Barling.”
Locals like Duttko said there were doubters that the mall would come to Barling, but with it finally breaking ground, she said she can't wait for the economic boon.
"Business is growing everywhere,” said Duttko. “I mean lots of small towns everywhere are growing.”
Owen wasn't able to tell 5NEWS the names of the stores, but said they are prominent businesses customers will recognize.
The mall developer has two restaurants that have verbally committed to the project.