Published to businessfacilities.com on November 5, 2019.
Written by the BF Staff
CHAFFEE CROSSING: MEDICAL RESEARCH HUB
Chaffee Crossing is a 7,000-acre mixed-use, Smart Growth community in western Arkansas that has attracted more than $1.651 billion in industrial, commercial, educational, residential, recreational and historical development through the savvy guidance of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA). Arkansas’ premier economic development project, strategically located in the center of the continental U.S., proudly boasts a complete list of transportation assets, a solid mixed-use master plan, and a healthy list of federal, state, regional and local partners. Over the past five years, the heartbeat of the development has been the new Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the first school on the campus of Arkansas College of Health Education, a privately funded medical college.
With FCRA’s gift of 200 prime acres of real estate, Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) was able to quickly launch its first medical college, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM). The college opened in August 2017 to an inaugural class of 150 medical students. In addition to first-class education space featuring leading edge technology, the $32 million “Taj Mahal of medical education facilities” includes a $3 million, 7,000 square-foot research space that is attracting national attention from biomedical researchers and grantors that include the National Institutes of Health.
A second college, the multi-discipline Arkansas College of Health Sciences (ARCOHS), and a bio-med Masters program were announced in June 2017. The 66,000 square-foot ARCOHS building will be home to schools of occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and physician assistant (PA) studies. Building features include a fully functional walk-in clinic open to the community; “Live and Learn”, pediatric, neuro, splinting and modality labs; quiet study spaces, practice rooms, and classrooms with the latest technology. These three disciplines combined will graduate approximately ninety physicians per year.
The 228-acre ACHE campus is being developed under a comprehensive master plan which includes a variety of residential, commercial, and retail districts complemented by recreational amenities. A highly anticipated mixed-use area known as The Village at Heritage will host 32 commercial/retail spaces with two vertical floors of hotel-style apartments available for students and faculty in addition to other campus housing. ARCOM is projected to have a $400 million annual economic impact on the regional economy.
As expected, health science related businesses are heavily interested in partnering with this rising star. Multiple sites adjacent and in close proximity to the ACHE campus ideal are available through FCRA for medical research and complementary operations.
Located in Fort Smith and Barling, Chaffee Crossing has become the economic development engine of western Arkansas. People and businesses alike are drawn to the Chaffee Crossing lifestyle. Sixteen corporate and regional headquarters and numerous commercial businesses have generated nearly 3,600 jobs, 29 residential developments, and a variety of amenities resulting in an exciting, vibrant mixed-use community. One of those companies is national transportation and logistics leader ArcBest Corporation that built a new 200,000 square-foot headquarters building in Chaffee Crossing. ArcBest chose the location for its strategic geographic location in the center of the Midwest, low cost of doing business, and beautiful surroundings with a great variety of fitness and recreational opportunities for employees. Of the original 7,000 acres of former Fort Chaffee land conveyed in the 1995 BRAC round, approximately 1,400 developable acres and 860 acres of greenspace remain available for sale.
The Fort Smith region is a bi-state center of commerce for a population around 285,000. Arkansas’ second largest city is a destination for commerce, health care, entertainment, history, arts and culture. Two hospitals, the internationally recognized Unexpected Project mural and public art project, a world-class symphony, and a surprisingly diverse, multi-cultural community are even more reasons to be drawn to western Arkansas. Fort Smith is widely known for its manufacturing capability and complete transportation portfolio—two interstates, rail, river and commercial air service. Regional industry is strengthened by a skilled, trainable workforce and supported by customized training through local universities. Several major markets are within a five hour drive—Little Rock, Memphis, Kansas City, St. Louis, Joplin, Springfield, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Wichita and Dallas.
Surrounding Chaffee Crossing’s quiet and eco-friendly industrial neighborhood is a healthy mix of residential and traditional developments; over the past ten years, 29 residential neighborhoods, regional university classrooms, medical clinics and numerous recreational amenities have been created. Miles of multi-use trails are in use and more are under construction. Fishing lakes, golf, softball, soccer, nature centers and other amenities are within a short bike ride of neighborhoods. A 200-acre state nature center is surrounded by neighborhoods and other outdoor activities. Corporate neighbors find this Smart Growth style of development especially appealing when relocating management team members and their families.
People and organizations are drawn to the award-winning Chaffee Crossing lifestyle. This is a community on the rise at the crossroads of U.S. transportation, industry, commerce, medical education, tourism, and recreation. To learn more about development opportunities, design guidelines and amenities, visit ChaffeeCrossing.com.