The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Sale Barn Could Give Way To Apartments
By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
Skip Descant reports on sale-barn issue discussion at the Ward One/Town Branch Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday
In the photo above, SKip Descant takes notes on his laptop computer to prepare this story. At right, Della Farrar of Martin Luther King Boulevard listens and formulates questions about the student-apartment project.
FAYETTEVILLE — The long-running livestock sale barn in south Fayetteville seems to be on its way out.
Known officially as Washington County Sales, the family-run livestock barn has been in operation since 1936, said owner Billy Joe Bartholomew. He is entering sale negotiations with Campus Crest Development, a student housing company based in Charlotte, N.C.
"It's going to be a fact that I'm going to sell it to someone," said Bartholomew on Monday evening during a Ward 1 neighborhood meeting. "I've checked this company out every way I know how, and they seem like a reputable company."
Campus Housing would like to build an apartment complex similar to nearby Hill Place on the 11-acre site to house roughly 500 students. Three-fourths of the property is zoned for light industry, with a portion already zoned for multifamily housing, said Alex Eyssen, an attorney representing Campus Crest.
Residents in the south Fayetteville area appear to oppose the apartment idea. Many openly questioned any market study which might suggest that Fayetteville is in need of additional apartments.
"If you look right around Fayetteville there are lots and lots of vacancies right now," said Marian Kunetka.
"I believe there is a need for our type of property," said Eyssen.
"I'm not sure that 500 more people of any age range are going to be as good a neighbor as the cows," said Michele Raine, who pointed to several community focus studies that say Fayetteville wants more owner-occupied single-family homes in its neighborhoods.
"We want to move forward with single-family housing," she said.
"I'm real concerned about the density. And now we'll be bracketed with these two really massive developments," she said, referring to both Campus Crest and Hill Place.
For the rest of the story see Morning News report on Town Branch and Ward One meeting on the issue of sale barn being replaced by four-story student apartments
A first step is getting the property rezoned from its current light industrial zone to multifamily. The developer filed the zoning request with the city's planning office last week.
If built, the furnished apartments would be designed as three- or four-story buildings clustered around a pool, sand volleyball court and other amenities and would rent for about $550 per person. The apartments are set up as three bedroom, 1,200-square-foot units with each bedroom having its own bathroom, said Eyssen.
The 20 residents attending the informational meeting Monday said they'd like to see other uses for the sale barn, such as a park, community garden or low-impact industry.
Aubrey Shepherd, an environmental activist and resident of the area, suggested an "agricultural theme park."