The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) accepted $1.2 million in real estate offers at its Thursday (Sept. 20) meeting in some positive news for the group, which has been trending behind due to delayed property closing dates throughout the year.
Executive Director Ivy Owen said he was confident that the FCRA would see at least $4 million in real estate transactions before the end of 2012, which would more than make up for current numbers that show an overall deficit of $649,336 through the first eight months of the year.
Property sales through August are $659,200 against $2.666 million budgeted during the 240-day period, and $4 million budgeted for the year.
Owen believes October will be “a very good month” for the FCRA.
“There is a lot of movement, a lot of activities, and it’s been that way increasingly over the last six months. The banks are loosening up a bit, and that’s an indication the economy is moving a little. I don’t have any hesitation at all that we’re going to make our $4 million budget and exceed it by the end of the year,” Owen said.
The biggest proposal FCRA accepted on Thursday was from the Chaffee Crossing Development Group LLC, in the amount of $900,000 for 40 acres northeast of Highways 22 and 59 to be used as a large commercial development. No definite plans were announced at the meeting.
Additionally, Little Rock attorney Michael Muskheli agreed to a $300,000 FCRA counter-offer (from his original proposal of $275,000) for 10 acres of property located at the corner of Roberts Blvd. and Interstate 49 behind St. Mary’s Cemetery. The use of the property was classified as “full scale large commercial development,” but no further details were provided at the meeting.
Both items brightened the news that the Deer Trails Golf Course is not meeting expectations for the year. The golf course, which FCRA representatives have hoped to sell since taking over in January 2012, is projecting a net loss of $199,000 for the year versus the $67,500 the board projected in December 2011.
In January, Owen said, “We’re not going to be in the golf course business very long, but while we are in it, we want to raise our income as much as possible and decrease expenses as we go along. That $67,500 number is likely the most this property will lose.”
While membership has grown from 147 to 208 in the close to nine months FCRA has managed the property, it has seen only $340,150 in gross profit versus $539,150 in overall expenses.
Also Thursday, Owen announced that the Veterans’ Day Parade will relocate to Chaffee Crossing from downtown Fort Smith with the inaugural event held on Nov. 3 at 11 a.m.
Chris Remaley, a representative from the Marine Corps League, will serve as parade chairperson. Owen said more than 30 “floats, bands, and other entries” will be in attendance, and there will be special recognition for the return of the 188th Fighter Wing from Afghanistan during the event, which will run in and around the Chaffee Crossing Historic District.
Regarding the Historic District, there will be a Pumpkin Patch event opening Oct. 12 and running every weekend until Halloween. Proceeds from the event will go to fund the Historic District.
The next meeting of the FCRA is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2012.