Developers will celebrate the start of construction on the College Marketplace shopping center in north Fayetteville next month.
The new 57,000-square-foot shopping center will include a Whole Foods Market grocery store and several other shops and restaurants, according to Georgia-based developer S.J. Collins Enterprises.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 3535 N. College Ave., just south of Millsap Road and the new flyover bridge.
The 6.6-acre site was once home to a Mercedes-Benz dealership, and has been used for several businesses over the last 10 years.
City Council members earlier this year agreed to pay $150,000 for a traffic signal at College Avenue and Masonic Drive in an effort to help lure the organic grocery chain to Fayetteville.
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department first suggested the traffic signal be built after traffic estimates showed that the new shopping center could generate 1,500 vehicles trips each day.
Fayetteville Alderman Justin Tennant said based on Whole Foods’ average sales per square foot, the store could generate between $800,000 and $1.3 million in sales tax revenue each year. He said Whole Foods could bring as many as 140 jobs to town as well.
Planning Commissioners have approved two driveways for the shopping center on College Avenue – one at the north end of the property where traffic will be restricted to right turns only, and another at Masonic Drive where the signal will be built.
Developers will be required to include two access easements to eventually allow vehicles to enter the shopping center from Longview Street and Plainview Avenue.
S.J. Collins officials said the new shopping center is expected to open in fall 2015.