Once Fayetteville’s planned regional park is complete, the adjacent land will likely be a hot commodity for people and businesses looking to locate near the new 200-acre park and all its planned amenities.
Today, we learned that a well-known Texas billionaire is betting on the area as well.
According to Washington County property records, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has purchased 10 parcels totaling about 256 acres off Cato Springs Road near the site of the planned park.
Records indicate that Jones, of 1 Cowboys Parkway in Irving, Texas, paid about $7.3 million for the property on Dec. 30.
Jones is best known as the owner of the NFL franchise Dallas Cowboys, but he’s obviously no stranger to Fayetteville. He was a star offensive lineman for the Razorbacks under head coach Frank Broyles, where he was also a co-captain for the Hogs’ 1964 National Championship team.
The property previously belonged to Chambers Bank, whose president and CEO John Ed Chambers III is Jones’ brother-in-law. The bank acquired it in lieu of foreclosure in 2010 after John Nock, Richard Alexander, Hank Broyles and Steve Aust’s planned Southpass Development never came to pass.
Over the summer, Chambers Bank requested a rezoning of the property, which had been designated as a Planned Zoning District left over from the Southpass development, in order to try and make it more attractive to a buyer.
Planning commissioners and aldermen agreed to rezone the land as requested, with 79 acres being designated Urban Thoroughfare, 120 acres as Community Services, and 54 acres as Neighborhood Conservation.
The new zonings allow for a mix of residential and commercial development, which is something city officials are excited about.
“It’s our desire to have residents living in this area and a mixture of uses servicing this area so that when you go to the regional park you don’t have to drive back to the next (Interstate-49) exit just for basic services,” said Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director.
The Urban Thoroughfare zoning, which is located closest to Cato Springs road and I-49, allows for restaurants, hotels, gas stations and large retail stores. Community Services, which is located near the center of the recently purchased land, is designed for smaller shops and mixed-use neighborhood developments. The area designated as Neighborhood Conservation is at the foot of Mount Kessler and is a purely residential district.
Hunter Haynes, a consultant for the bank, said in June he was actively seeking a buyer for the land at the time. Haynes did not immediately return a call for comment on Tuesday.