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Developers turn dirt on $4.2 million neighborhood on Wallis Road in Rogers

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Per TB&P, Groundbreaking for a new neighborhood in southwest Rogers was held June 14.

The $4.2 million project is called Savannah Estates, located on Wallis Road and situated between the Liberty Bell South subdivision and Pinnacle Memorial Gardens.

The land owners are John George of Springdale and Nathan Fairchild of Rogers. Their JONA Development LLC acquired the land (20.75 acres) earlier this year in two separate deals for a combined $905,000, which equals $1 per square foot. The previous landowners were the Blevins family (4.83 acres) and a limited liability company owned by Johnelle Hunt (15.92 acres).

“We’re excited to turn a grass field into something useful for 57 families,” George said. “Pinnacle Gardens is a beautiful neighbor, and so is Liberty Bell to the west. This will put a good inventory of homes into the city of Rogers and will be good for the economy for the city of Rogers.”

Savannah Estates will have 57 single-family lots, and Buffington Homes of Fayetteville is the exclusive homebuilder and developer. The company’s in-house real estate division, Neighborhood Realty, will be the exclusive listing agent.

Clay Carlton, a principal of Buffington Homes, said homes in Savannah Estates will range from approximately 2,900 square feet to 3,700 square feet, and in listing price from $115 to $135 per square foot. He compared the neighborhood to another Buffington Homes neighborhood in Rogers, Silo Falls.

“We’re just about done building in there, so [work-wise] this neighborhood will essentially be replacing that one,” he said. “It’s a growing area with a lot of amenities.”

Bates & Associates in Fayetteville is the civil engineer and Adams Excavating in Rogers is doing the excavation and site work. Lots could be ready for construction by the end of the year.

Grand Savings Bank in Bentonville is the primary financier the project, with a one-year construction loan of $2.15 million.

Caterpillar to add 250-plus jobs at North Little Rock plant

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Per TB&P, Caterpillar officials announced Thursday (July 5) plans to invest $40 million in the company’s North Little Rock plant and add more than 250 jobs as part of an expansion to make paving equipment. An estimated 525 people now work at the plant.

Thursday’s announcement at the plant that first opened in 2010 included Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

“The expansion of Caterpillar’s North Little Rock facility illustrates the growing economy we have experienced throughout the state,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a statement provided by Caterpillar. “We’ve seen great things from Caterpillar’s facility in recent years, and the new jobs mean more opportunity for Arkansas families. This announcement shows the faith that Caterpillar has in our workforce, in the state and in our communities.”

Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar opened the plant to build motor graders, and in late 2017 added the production of medium wheel loaders to the manufacturing line. The $40 million investment includes work between 2017 and 2020, when the lines to produce paving equipment – a large six-wheeled rotary mixer, for example – is expected to be complete.

Company officials at the non-union plant said within the next year they will begin hiring assemblers, welders, mechanics, machinists, fork truck drivers, and order pickers on first, second and third shifts. The company is hosting at job fair from 8 a.m. to Noon, July 21, at the North Little Rock plant.

“Adding new products into the facility gives us a lot of opportunity, and I’m most excited about expanding our team to make the machines that will help our customers build a better world,” said Paul Rivera, Caterpillar North Little Rock operations manager. “To support additional production, we’re looking to hire an additional 250 new employees.”

New manufacturing jobs could help boost a segment of the central Arkansas economy that has struggled in recent years. As of May, the region had an estimated 20,200 manufacturing jobs, down 0.5% compared to May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing jobs are about 6% of the total number of jobs in the state’s largest metro area.

Caterpillar products made in North Little Rock.
Statewide, manufacturing jobs are growing, and reached an estimated 160,100 in May, up 2.2% compared to May 2017. Manufacturing jobs in May were 12.8% of the state’s total nonfarm employed.

CATERPILLAR STOCK DECLINE
News of the North Little Rock expansion comes amidst concerns that Caterpillar and other large construction equipment makers will be hurt by tariff-induced trade wars, or that growth in the construction equipment cycle is near an end.

The company announced earlier this year plant closings in Aurora, Ill., and Waco, Texas. The company also closed a demonstration center in Panama. The actions were expected to result in 880 combined job losses at the three locations.

Company shares (NYSE: CAT) closed Thursday at $135.81, up $1.98. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged between $173.24 and $105.11. Not only is the stock well off its 52 week high, the share price is down almost 16% from its 2018 opening day close of $157.04. The share price decline comes even as the company on April 24 raised its full year 2018 earnings per share guidance from a range of $7.75-$8.75 to $9.75-$10.75.

However, some market watchers remain bullish on the sector. UBS equity analyst Steven Fisher recently issued a “Buy” rating on Caterpillar and raised his target price from $178 to $185. Fisher believes growth in the global mining sector will benefit Caterpillar.

The company posted first quarter net income of $1.665 billion, well ahead of the $192 million in the first quarter of 2017. The company in 2017 posted net income of $754 million, a wide swing from the $67 million loss in 2016.

Chuck Dicus, Ken Bethge Join Wilson Auctioneers

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via Talk Business & Politics

Hot Springs-based Wilson Real Estate Auctioneers Inc. announced Monday (July 17) the hiring of Chuck Dicus as a real estate sales agent.

Dicus, who played football at the University of Arkansas, is a former president of two notable nonprofits in the state — the Razorback Foundation and the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation. He also previously worked for commercial real estate firm Irwin Partners in Little Rock.

 

“The entire Wilson staff is excited that Chuck Dicus has joined our team,” company president Joe Wilson said in a news release. “Chuck is a multifaceted agent, with knowledge of the outdoors, hunting land, farms and commercial real estate. He provides more than 30 years of experience and networking with Arkansans in every corner of the state.”

Dicus will be responsible for listing real estate, farms and commercial properties for auction in Arkansas, with a focus on Northwest Arkansas.

Wilson also announced Ken Bethge has joined the firm as executive broker and closing coordinator. Bethge recently retired as senior vice president of Jefferson Title Co. in Pine Bluff.

“Ken’s experience in the title insurance business will further our commitment to providing clear transactions, 30-day closings and a direct line for our buyers and sellers to receive information for their closings,” Wilson said in the release.

Bethge, who has 45 years of experience in the real estate business, has served as secretary of the Arkansas Building Authority Council, chairman of the Jefferson County Equalization Board and chairman of the Pine Bluff Planning Commission.

via Talk Business & Politics