Tyson Foods celebrated the opening of its new downtown Springdale office building, bringing approximately 300 workers to the the heart of the city.
The 56,000-square-foot building at 319 E. Emma Avenue sits on more than seven acres and was built on the site of the company’s original headquarters and adjacent building formerly known as the Brown Hatchery building.
“Our goal has been to work collaboratively with the Downtown Springdale Alliance, the (Springdale) Chamber of Commerce and business leaders to bring new life to Emma Avenue,” said John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods’ Board of Directors. “Today, we’ve taken another step in reaching that goal and achieving our collective vision of transforming downtown Springdale.”
Today’s celebration at Tyson Foods is the latest of several positive moves that have boosted the city’s downtown. The city invested in developing sharp-looking Walter Turnbow Park right on the Razorback Regional Greenway and in the middle of downtown, and small businesses such as Core Beer, Phat Tire bike shop, The Odd Soul and Black Apple Crossing have opened in the downtown area.
For Tyson Foods, the 56,000-square-foot building is the second office Tyson Foods has opened in downtown Springdale and brings the company’s total employment on Emma Avenue to approximately 400. The company last year opened a 28,000-square-foot building at 516 E. Emma Ave., named the Tyson Foods JTL Building in recognition of its original use as the first truck terminal for Jones Truck Lines. About 100 people work in the building.
Tyson Foods’ commitment to downtown revitalization started in 2014, when the company announced a $1 million gift to the Downtown Springdale Alliance to help develop its master plan.
“Tyson Foods has played an important role in the success of our Downtown Master Plan, and with their ongoing support, and the support of businesses and community members across the city, we know our downtown will continue to thrive,” said Kelly Syer, executive director of the downtown alliance.
The building will be home to many of Tyson Foods’ Information Technology team members, who will focus on supporting a key business transformation program using cloud-based, modern technology.
“We’re proud to be a part of the continued revitalization of downtown Springdale, but also excited for the opportunity to help usher in a new era of innovation and technology to the area,” said Scott Spradley, chief technology officer at Tyson Foods.
The new building features wood reclaimed from the original Tyson Foods headquarters and the Brown Hatchery building. The reception area, stair treads, walls and landings were constructed from wood reclaimed from both historic buildings.
Situated along the Razorback Regional Greenway, the building has showers and bicycle parking to encourage employees to bike or walk to work. In addition, a garden on the west side of the facility is furnished with areas for shuffleboard, bocce ball and baggo.
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse described the impact of Tyson Foods on the city as “immeasurable.”
“The opening of this complex in our city center, where this company was literally born, continues to fuel the economic engine Tyson Foods has become for every one of their team members, hundreds of Springdale businesses, our city and our state,” Sprouse said. “We are eager to see where this new chapter in Tyson Foods’ Springdale story takes our community.”
The original headquarters building was first constructed around 1920 and was once home to the Springdale Produce Co., owned and operated by John W. Tyson, chairman John Tyson’s grandfather. A fire partially destroyed the building in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1946, became home to Tyson’s Feed and Hatchery and the corporate headquarters remained there until 1969 when the company, now known as Tyson Foods, Inc. moved to its current location on Don Tyson Parkway.
Tyson Foods employs more than 6,000 people in Springdale and more than 23,000 people in Arkansas. More than 1,800 family farmers in the state grow chickens for its operations. The company purchases cattle, pigs, grain, diesel and other utilities in Arkansas and estimates its annual statewide economic impact at nearly $2 billion.