By Joel Phelps
An Arkadelphia housing project two years in the making will make its official debut Friday in a groundbreaking ceremony.
North Ridge Estates and South Ridge Crossing are the brainchild of Arkadelphia natives Nicky Goff and Kyle Smith, partners in Mill Creek Investors Group, LLC. The landowners are planning to convert a total of 234 acres of undeveloped land into a subdivision ranging from 0.8 acres to 1.9 acres. The first phase, North Ridge Estates, will encompass 90 of those acres and be accessible by Gorman Loop off of Country Club Road (between W.P. Malone Drive and Cedar Grove Road).
The second phase, South Ridge Crossing, will be similar in size and be adjacent to W.P. Malone Drive, its access point. Goff said the second phase will resemble a modern development with homes targeted in the 1,800-square-foot range. Together, the two phases will include 435 lots.
Interested buyers should be able to shop for a lot at North Ridge Estates by the end of 2021, said Goff, who has been involved in smaller-scale housing projects in Saline County. Lots will be available through Crye Leike Pro Elite Realty of Arkadelphia.
“I hope this contributes to the next growth opportunity of Arkadelphia,” Goff told The Arkadelphian. “It’s been 40 years since we’ve had new home construction options.”
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the future site of North Ridge Estates on Friday, Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m. The community is invited. There will be parking off of Country Club Road and Gorman Loop.
There have already been interested buyers, sources involved in the planning said. “We have a list of clients that want to build in the new subdivision,” said Kim Byrd, broker at Crye Leike Pro Elite Realty. “They are interested in new construction within the city of Arkadelphia, and this project will offer city services as well as infrastructure for immediate building.”
Byrd added she’s had a client waiting for nearly a year for the first choice of lots. Byrd said she can add interested buyers to a list for both North Ridge Estates and South Ridge Crossing.
The new subdivision is expected to be yet another key facet to Arkadelphia’s growth. According to Nikki Chandler, executive vice president for the Arkadelphia Alliance and Chamber of Commerce, one of the common questions prospective industries ask how much available housing there is. “We drive them around neighborhoods, and you may see a house or two for sale,” Chandler said. “But if you’re trying to bring in 500 jobs and you don’t have a place for your 100 executives, or whatever the case may be, this is the answer to that question.”
Building a new home inside Arkadelphia presents a challenge as there are few vacant residential lots, but North Ridge Estates is expected to add several more rooftops to the city limits. “For this to be in the city limits, it gives more opportunity to build a house here,” Chandler said. “And hopefully it’ll bring more people, and hopefully they’ll fill the jobs here.” It means more income for the city and Clark County, she added. “We’re hoping it will go hand in hand with economic development,” she said. “It’s a once-a-generation type thing.”
Shelley Loe, vice president of commercial lending at Citizens Bank, echoed the sentiment about Arkadelphia’s future. “You can go back to the Clark County Strategic Plan where housing is listed as a major need for the growth of Arkadelphia/Clark County,” Loe said. “Being a financial institution with a small part to play in this growth is who we are at Citizens Bank. This housing development should offer the new construction and amenities that new residents are looking for so less people will commute into our county for work but will also live here.
“This also provides opportunity for locals to build their dream home or investment such as spec homes. The developers are giving back to their home town through this development, and I personally am so grateful when locals invest where they live. Citizens Bank believes in ‘People First’ and we look forward to financing lots and new construction for this project.”