UPDATE, JULY 27, 2023
When things match up closely, they tend to be related. I’m not saying it’s a Buc-ee’s coming to Benton, but one plus one is two and there are two teeth in the front of a beaver’s mouth.
The Benton Advertising and Promotion Commission met on Thursday afternoon to consider a proposal for someone to purchase land from them at Exit 114. The City of Benton recently purchased approximately 100 acres of land from private citizen Jim Thomas in March 2023. They will purchase about 400 more from him in the span of 10 years, for the purpose building parks facilities.
According to A&P Commissioner Bill Eldridge, in the process of the deal, Mr. Thomas confided that a certain entity was interested in purchasing the front corner of the property – about 29 acres. The City put it out to a bid process and one bid was returned.
Eldridge read a summary of the bid aloud at the meeting. I’m not saying it’s a Buc-ee’s, but Eldridge said it was from a travel center that bid $77,586.21 per acre on 29 acres, or a gross of $2.25 million before real estate fees. The company name is CSMS Management LLC, of Pearland, TX. I’m not saying it’s a Buc-ee’s, but I googled it and Buc-ee’s headquarters is in Pearland, TX.
The company stated in its proposal that it would employ 250 people at $16-18 per hour, with insurance, 401k and 3 weeks vacation. I’m not saying it’s a Buc-ee’s, but that is roughly their pay scale and their signage at the stores say they have healthcare, 401k and 3 weeks vacation.
The economic impact on the area would be $1.2 million per year, the proposal states, and property tax would be $275,000 per year. It also says the company would expect approximately 5 million visitors per year to their travel center.
The City has the requirement for the construction to begin within one year and to be completed within 3 years. The City’s remaining portion of the acreage will be used for ball parks, trails and RV campgrounds, all adjacent to the Saline River. If you have never seen any beavers by the river, just wait a year or so and you likely will see beavers everywhere – on hats, t-shirts, bumper stickers and more.
PREVIOUSLY JULY 26, 2023
What type of business occupies 30 acres? It’s fun to dream, but we’ll soon see, because the City of Benton is looking to sell off part of their land purchase from March 2023. You may remember that Benton agreed to purchase 511 undeveloped acres from a private citizen. The land is located at the corner of Arkansas Highway 229 and the north frontage road at Interstate 30.
In June, the City requested bids for those interested in buying a portion of that land. Specifically, the city has up to 30 acres that they are open to selling for commercial purposes. For size reference, Walmart in Benton in on about 29.75 acres.
The Benton Advertising & Promotion Commission will hold a special called meeting on Thursday, July 27th to hear from those who are bidding. The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Benton Municipal Complex in Council Chambers. The address is 114 S. East St. The public is welcome to attend.
Page 6 of the City’s Request for Proposals gives a summary of what is expected from interested parties. Read that below in italics:
The City of Benton A&P Commission is seeking a prospective buyer of up to 30 acres of the Thomas Park property located within the City of Benton, Saline County, Arkansas, for commercial development. The site is located along the Saline River in the upper southwest corner between Interstate 30 and 229. It is anticipated that the property will be annexed into the City of Benton and will be appropriately zoned for commercial purposes. The City of Benton A&P Commission anticipates developing adjacent property to include a RV Park, ball fields, bicycle and walking trail. The prospective buyer shall begin developing commercially within one (1) year of closing of the property and completion within three (3) years. Please see attached site plan provided by McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.
A successful bid shall include:
1. Number of acres proposed to purchase;
2. Price per acre;
3. Anticipated commercial purpose;
4. Number of anticipated employees and ranges of compensation;
5. Any requested buyer concessions;
6. A proposed purchase contract; and
7. A description of the anticipated economic impact for the community.
Proposals will be evaluated based upon their short and long-term economic impact on
the City of Benton.
MySaline will be at the meeting to stream live video. You can watch at www.facebook.com/mysaline. See below for the video of the announcement, recorded on the property on March 14, 2023. 👇🏻The City plans on building new park facilities, including ball fields, disc golf course, RV park and miles of trails.
See the video of the announcement and ribbon cutting below, from March 14th.
MySaline.com : I’m not saying it’s a Buc-ee’s, but… – Magnolia Reporter
Mega travel center Buc-ee’s is apparently coming to Benton – Arkansas Times
Buc-ee’s chain considers Benton – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Is Benton getting a Buc-ee’s? – Arkansas Money and Politics
Signs point to Buc-ee’s Travel Center coming to Arkansas – KARK News 4
Is Arkansas getting a Buc-ee’s? – THV11
Is Arkansas About To Get It’s First Buc-ee’s? Signs Point To, Yes – Kicker 102.5 FM Royce City, TX
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