Longtime Faulkner County residents have likely heard of Frank Shaw. Shaw has been a practicing attorney in Conway for more than 40 years. But in late 2019, Shaw made a major professional shift toward real estate development. And he’s now leading the city’s growth in a new — southern — direction.
Can you provide insights into the impact your previous developments, focused on first-time home buyers, had on Conway’s growth and development?
I helped develop two small subdivisions off Stermer Road in Conway in the 1980s. But I then spent the next three decades focused on my legal practice. It wasn’t until 2019 that I had the opportunity to do residential development again. My plan was to develop a small-lot subdivision in east Conway. I saw the need for affordable housing and just hoped to sell a few. I received a call from John Rausch to set up an appointment with him.
He came to the downtown office, and after a few minutes, I asked him if he wanted to buy a few lots. His response was, “I’ll take all of them.” Now — 440 lots later — Rausch Coleman is addressing Conway’s demand for affordable homes. Fast-forward to 2022 and Conway is the fastest-growing city in Arkansas. Without our developments that would not be the case.
You have recently shifted your development strategy to focus on premium homes and high-end residential developments in southern Conway. What influenced this change and what benefits do you see for the city?
The first premium home subdivision in south Conway was a simple nine-lot development, Orchard Hill Phase 1. The lots sold before we finished. The idea was to move from first-time buyers to premium buyers. It was my opinion that no matter your station in life, everybody wanted more room.
We looked to south Conway, specifically Round Mountain. My longtime friendship with Richard Collins and his orchard made me aware of the area and the nearby city utilities. Orchard Hill is the culmination of his vision and mine. Looking at a city map reveals that Conway can really only grow south.
Our recent buyers have been local folks who are already familiar with the area, west Conway residents who commute south into Little Rock, or Little Rock residents seeing the beauty of the area. Most of Conway is flat, whereas south Conway is part of the Ouachitas and has a totally different terrain and geography.
It’s a beautiful place to live. Orchard Hill subdivision has lots ranging from $100,000 to $140,000. For more information call Frank Shaw Properties at 501.514.2244.