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Monday, September 22, 2014, 1:43 p.m.
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ArcBest plans new headquarters, jobs in Fort Smith

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published May 30, 2014 at 1:49 p.m. Updated May 30, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. said Friday that it is under contract to buy 40 acres at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith for a new corporate headquarters, a development necessary because of "significant growth" within its operations.

The move is part of an effort that ArcBest says could add nearly 1,000 jobs over the next seven years. The total investment in the project from the company, the city of Fort Smith and the state is said to total about $30 million.

ArcBest, which saw revenue increase 11 percent to $2.3 billion in 2013, said the new space is needed because it has been leasing extra office space since outgrowing its current general office on Old Greenwood Road in early 2012. The firm is aiming for revenue to reach $3 billion by 2015.

President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds said the decision to build at the new site "underscores our long commitment to this area." Groundbreaking is set for fall of this year.

"As one of the area's largest corporate employers with a bright future and growth plans ahead of us, we are excited to announce construction of this new facility in Fort Smith," she said in a statement. "With plans for growth at all of our operating companies ... it is important that we develop additional space to accommodate these expanding businesses."

The new facility is expected to house ArcBest corporate and administrative functions as well as ABF Logistics personnel. ABF Freight System Inc. and ArcBest Technologies will remain at the Old Greenwood Road location and will be able to use the freed-up space to expand.

That expansion and expansion in the new facility "supports the creation of 975 new jobs in Fort Smith through 2021," ArcBest said in the statement.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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RBBrittain says... May 30, 2014 at 5:21 p.m.

The article should have clarified that this is the former Arkansas Best Corporation; I didn't know they changed the name to avoid "Arkansas" (ABF, their main subsidiary, did that many years ago). People might read the headline thinking this is a totally new HQ, when in fact ArcBest is simply moving its HQ from the middle of Fort Smith to Chaffee Crossing. More of an expansion than new business...

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