Tyson Foods plans to construct a new building in downtown Springdale, reaffirming the company’s commitment to help rebuild a key area of the city.
The two-story, 44,000-square-foot structure will create workspace for about 250 employees in downtown Springdale, the Northwest Arkansas city where the company is based.
John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc., made the announcement of the company’s plans for downtown Springdale at a celebration earlier today to hundreds of people at the downtown site. He also talked about the company’s plans and vision for the downtown area.
“We’re collaborating with the Downtown Springdale Alliance, the chamber of commerce and other business leaders on ways to make this area a hub of innovation,” Tyson said. “We hope others will join the effort to help make downtown Springdale an intersection where commerce, food, the arts and families meet.”
Last January, Tyson Foods announced a $1 million gift to the Downtown Springdale Alliance.
“While the purpose of that donation was to help jump-start the revitalization of downtown, what’s even more important is bringing people back to Emma Street,” Tyson said. “That’s why we have plans to locate more than 300 of our corporate Team Members downtown.”
Tyson, a member of the Northwest Arkansas Council, revealed plans for property the company owns in the city’s downtown, including its original headquarters located at 319 E. Emma Ave. and the adjacent building at 317 E. Emma Ave., formerly known as the Brown Hatchery building.
The new structure will go on the site, between and behind the two older buildings, preserving their original frontage on Emma Avenue. Construction is scheduled to be done in 2017. Demolition of several other buildings on Tyson Foods’ property will begin this month.
The original headquarters building was first constructed around 1920 and was once home to the Springdale Produce Company, owned and operated by John W. Tyson, John Tyson’s grandfather. A fire partially destroyed the building in the early 1950s. It was razed and rebuilt in 1952 and became home to Tyson’s Feed & Hatchery until 1969 when the company, now known as Tyson Foods, moved to its current location.
In January, Tyson Foods announced it was renovating the 28,000-square-foot building located at 516 E. Emma Ave., named the Tyson Foods JTL Building. It will become the new home to the Tyson Company Store, a wholesale outlet where Tyson Foods employees and others can purchase Tyson Foods products and a limited selection of staple grocery items. About 75 people will work at the JTL Building beginning in the spring next year.
“Downtown Springdale is where we started,” Tyson said. “There’s a rich past here, but also an exciting future – and, we plan to be part of it.”
Tyson Foods, one of three Fortune 500 companies based in Northwest Arkansas, employs more than 6,000 people in Springdale and nearly 23,000 people in Arkansas, and more than 1,700 family farmers in the state grow chickens for its operations. The company also purchases cattle, pigs, grain, diesel and other utilities in Arkansas and estimates its annual statewide economic impact at more than $1.6 billion.