New Townhome Project Planned in Little Rock, Ark.

An Ankeny, Iowa-based developer met with potential neighbors and Lowell city officials June 28 to pave the way for building townhouses.

Triton Homes specializes in construction and sales of townhouses designed to appeal to single homeowners and empty nesters, said Stan Grubb, the company's director of new metros.

Preliminary plans call for 148 townhouses on about 7 acres just east of the J.B. Hunt home office on Hunt Corporate Drive in Lowell.

The approximately 1,100 square-foot, three-level town- houses will be priced starting at $114,000. Each house features a two-car garage, all appliances and a property owners association to provide outdoor maintenance.

Chris Gardner, Triton's vice president of operations, said the company likes to keep the monthly mortgage payments in the $700 to $800 range so single professionals like teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters can afford to own a home.

The company's first action once it finalizes buying the property will be to request a rezoning. The land is zoned for commercial development.

Residents from nearby Brookhaven subdivision attended the meeting because some of the properties back up to the targeted construction site.

Brookhaven Property Owners Association President Tim Bair said the residents of the neighborhood are concerned about construction on the site because of drainage issues and feared devaluation of their property.

A great concern to Bair was that the proposed property owners association would not be overseen by the construction company once the development was completed, but turned over to the property owners.

"Not all homeowners are good homeowners," he said.

One resident attending the meeting loudly commented she planned to "start shooting dogs," referring to the development plans to use a stormwater runoff retention pond as a property owners' dog park when it was dry.

BENCHMARK TOPS OUT

Benchmark Group architects and engineers topped out its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified "green" office building Tuesday.

The company reserved the use of the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad to transport company employees and media to the building site at 1805 N. Second St. in Rogers because of limited parking.

More than 260 people will be based in the 118,000-square-foot building when it is completed in 2008.

MCDONALD'S BREAKS GROUND

Bill and Walter Mathews, owners and operators of Mc-Donald's restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, broke ground on a new restaurant in Pea Ridge on July 11.

The restaurant will be at 239 N. Curtis Ave. across from Marvin's Food Saver.

The restaurant will feature the new McDonald's building design with brick exterior and expansive use of glass. It will seat 56 people when completed and provide parking for 44 vehicles.

About 60 people will staff the McDonald's when it opens in mid-October.


Loading