A new era in the more than 130-year-old history of the Southwest Times Record unfolds in July when the media company opens the doors to its new office in Central Mall on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith.
The Times Record has been in the process of moving to a newly remodeled 12,000-square foot suite on the second floor of Central Mall from its long-time home at 3600 Wheeler Ave in Fort Smith. Staff will be reporting in full to the new offices on Monday, July 2, Times Record Publisher Crystal Costa announced.
There will be public access to the new space starting Monday, but plans are in place to have a downstairs kiosk for quicker public access near the south entrance and Sweet Bay Coffee. At the kiosk, customers can place classified ads, purchase books or papers, submit letters, buy subscriptions, ask general questions or read through the day’s news, using e-tablets that will be provided.
There will be 65 employees located at the new facility, including the staff with the Booneville Democrat, Charleston Express and the Greenwood Democrat.
There were multiple reasons for the move, including a more modern environment and easier access for customers, according to Costa.
“There were a lot of memories made as a staff working at the Wheeler location, and no move or change is without some angst. However, the site wasn’t optimum for our current business model,” Costa said. “We are excited to move to the bustling area along Rogers Avenue, giving us quicker access to our business customers and making it easier for our customers to drop in to discuss questions, subscriptions and more.”
The move puts reporters, photographers and others at an area of town that is full of activity. The renovated space is something the team will be proud of, she added.
“And the staff at Central Mall have been amazing to work with. They’ve been open to ideas on truly renovating the space for our current needs,” Costa said. “A big consideration in this move was the need to frame our workspace for the future. Our staff and day-to-day needs have changed, and it was time for us to be in a building that reflected that. We wanted an open team environment with a more modern approach to technology and a more modern environment overall. This is crucial for our current team and in our efforts to recruit new employees,” Costa said.
The current Times Record location at 3600 Wheeler Ave. will close at noon June 29 and will not reopen. The new location will be open at 8 a.m. July 2. Until the downstairs kiosk is open, the best way to access the suite at 471 is to go in the east side entrance, and enter through the first office door on the left. There is an elevator immediately to the right that opens directly into the customer service area of the Times Record. New hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The downstairs kiosk will have extended hours, to be announced at a later date.
The Times Record office has been at the Wheeler Avenue location in Fort Smith since May 2000. Previously, the office and press were located downtown.
Times Record move FAQs:
Where will the Times Record’s new office be located?
The new office is at 5111 Rogers Ave., Suite 471, inside Central Mall. The office entrance is closest to the East Side entrance. A customer-service kiosk will be located downstairs near the main South entrance, behind Sweet Bay coffee, starting in mid July.
Will the Times Record’s mailing address or email addresses change?
No. The Times Record mailing address is P.O. Box 1359, Fort Smith, AR 72901. Email addresses will also remain the same.
Will the Times Record’s phone number change?
No, the phone number will not change. It is (479) 785-7700.
Will the Times Record have new business hours?
Office hours will still be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, the kiosk location on the first floor will offer extended hours that will be published at a later date.