Northwest Arkansas is more than just “calling the hogs” these days. The center of gravity for
the region has shifted from rooting for the University of Arkansas (U of A) Razorbacks on
Saturdays in the fall to becoming a major cultural and economic center of the South Central
U.S.

The explosion of these highly-educated, white-collar professionals has created a demand for
lifestyle amenities that follow a trend across major metros in the U.S. These amenities
include parks, bike trails, entertainment venues and urban walkable districts built around anew American lifestyle. Local residents’ mounting appetite for these amenities has sparked
planning efforts up and down the I-49 corridor to redevelop the historic downtown cores
while facilitating new, walkable development along major thoroughfares. Individual
planning within each municipality has been supplemented by a broader regional vision that
has propelled major infrastructure investments such as the I-49 corridor widening, the
Springdale bypass, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) and the Razorback
Greenway.


Taking all of this into account, CBRE Research has identified three significant drivers (population growth, payroll growth, and regional planning) that are pushing Northwest Arkansas further into the national spotlight as developers, investors and site selectors seek new destinations for business expansions which will create a profound impact on local commercial real estate markets.