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Strategy Walmart's hometown has filled up with mansions, high-end restaurants, and an art museum — see all of the changes the company's wealthy founding family has brought (WMT)

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Walmart's home of Bentonville, Arkansas, has become more trendy over the years, and now it's home to some pricey real estate.

Walmart founder Sam Walton moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950. play

Walmart founder Sam Walton moved to Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950.

(Associated Press)

  • Walmart's headquarters are located in Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • The city has become a desirable destination as Walmart executives have relocated there.
  • As a result, home values have gone up in recent years.
  • Bentonville has also become home to more trendy restaurants and a boutique hotel.

Since the Waltons first set foot in Bentonville in 1950, the quiet town has grown to become a cosmopolitan city with a modern art gallery, boutique hotel, artisan shops, and fancy restaurants — and the family that founded Walmart is mostly to thank for this.

The presence of Walmart's headquarters here has driven up property prices in the area as company executives settle in the town and create a demand for luxury real estate.

The average price for homes in downtown Bentonville has increased from $63 to $192 per square foot up in the past six years, according to a study done by the University of Arkansas and commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, The Wall Street Journal reported.

See how the city has evolved as Walmart has grown:

Bentonville is in the northwest part of Arkansas. It's the ninth-largest city in the state, with a population of just over 47,000 people.

Bentonville is in the northwest part of Arkansas. It's the ninth-largest city in the state, with a population of just over 47,000 people. play

Bentonville is in the northwest part of Arkansas. It's the ninth-largest city in the state, with a population of just over 47,000 people.

(Google Maps)

Source: US Census Bureau



The founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, moved to the city in 1950 and set up his Walton's 5 & 10 store. At the time, it was a quiet town, and the surrounding area was once known for its apple, poultry, and dairy production. Walton's original store still stands today and is part of the Walmart Museum, which was set up to educate visitors about the company's history.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, started his career in retail by opening a five-and-dime store. This store has become a museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. play

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, started his career in retail by opening a five-and-dime store. This store has become a museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

(Yelp/TheWalmartMuseum)

Source: Walmart, Bentonville Chamber of Congress



Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962. By 1967, there were 24 locations in Arkansas. Three years later, the company went public.

Walmart's first store in 1962. play

Walmart's first store in 1962.

(Facebook.com/Walmartmuseum)


In 1971, Walton set up Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville because it was a relatively inexpensive place to run a business. The HQ is still located here, just outside of the city. The company announced in September that it would be opening more offices there.

In 1971, Walton set up Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville because it was a relatively inexpensive place to run a business. The HQ is still located here, just outside of the city. The company announced in September that it would be opening more offices there. play

In 1971, Walton set up Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville because it was a relatively inexpensive place to run a business. The HQ is still located here, just outside of the city. The company announced in September that it would be opening more offices there.

(Google Maps)

Source: Fortune and Newsday



Over the years, the Walton family has made significant investments into the Bentonville area. In the '70s and '80s Sam Walton and his wife, Helen, built tennis courts, a senior citizens' recreation hall, nonprofit daycare center, library, youth athletic center, and employee health club, according to The Washington Post.

In 1983, Bentonville hosted "Sam and Helen Walton Day" to show its gratitude to the couple. play

In 1983, Bentonville hosted "Sam and Helen Walton Day" to show its gratitude to the couple.

(Facebook/The Walmart Museum)

Source: The Washington Post



The Waltons now have a combined net worth of about $133 billion, according to Bloomberg, and they've been named the wealthiest family in America. Sam Walton's children have continued to donate. Alice Walton, the youngest of Sam Walton's children, has never had an active role in the business but is an avid collector of art.

The Waltons now have a combined net worth of about $133 billion, according to Bloomberg, and they've been named the wealthiest family in America. Sam Walton's children have continued to donate. Alice Walton, the youngest of Sam Walton's children, has never had an active role in the business but is an avid collector of art. play

The Waltons now have a combined net worth of about $133 billion, according to Bloomberg, and they've been named the wealthiest family in America. Sam Walton's children have continued to donate. Alice Walton, the youngest of Sam Walton's children, has never had an active role in the business but is an avid collector of art.

(D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg



In 2011, she opened the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville to house her $500 million private art collection. When it opened, it had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York.

In 2011, she opened the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville to house her $500 million private art collection. When it opened, it had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York. play

In 2011, she opened the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville to house her $500 million private art collection. When it opened, it had four times the endowment of the famous Whitney Museum in New York.

(Facebook/Crystal Bridges Museum)

Source: The New Yorker



The museum is free to visit and houses an impressive collection of artwork from artists such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe.

The museum is free to visit and houses an impressive collection of artwork from artists such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe. play

The museum is free to visit and houses an impressive collection of artwork from artists such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe.

(Facebook/Crystal Bridges)


The museum acquired one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's creations in 2013.

The museum acquired one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's creations in 2013. play

The museum acquired one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's creations in 2013.

(Yelp/Nate M)


The Waltons are also to thank for the town's boutique hotel, 21c Museum Hotel. In 2010, the family partnered with 21c Museum Hotels to create the 104-room hotel, which cost $28 million to construct.

The Waltons are also to thank for the town's boutique hotel, 21c Museum Hotel. In 2010, the family partnered with 21c Museum Hotels to create the 104-room hotel, which cost $28 million to construct. play

The Waltons are also to thank for the town's boutique hotel, 21c Museum Hotel. In 2010, the family partnered with 21c Museum Hotels to create the 104-room hotel, which cost $28 million to construct.

(Yelp/21chotel)

Source: The Wall Street Journal



The hotel has its own restaurant, The Hive, which serves Southern food that costs between $16 and $29 for an entree. Its executive chef, Matthew McClure, has been named a semifinalist for five years running in the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef awards.

The hotel has its own restaurant, The Hive, which serves Southern food that costs between $16 and $29 for an entree. Its executive chef, Matthew McClure, has been named a semifinalist for five years running in the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef awards. play

The hotel has its own restaurant, The Hive, which serves Southern food that costs between $16 and $29 for an entree. Its executive chef, Matthew McClure, has been named a semifinalist for five years running in the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef awards.

(Facebook/The Hive)

Source: The Hive



There's also a well-respected cooking school in town. Brightwater, part of the NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is backed by the Walton Family Foundation, which gave it a grant in 2015 to build a 27,500-square-foot facility in downtown Bentonville.

There's also a well-respected cooking school in town. Brightwater, part of the NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is backed by the Walton Family Foundation, which gave it a grant in 2015 to build a 27,500-square-foot facility in downtown Bentonville. play

There's also a well-respected cooking school in town. Brightwater, part of the NorthWest Arkansas Community College, is backed by the Walton Family Foundation, which gave it a grant in 2015 to build a 27,500-square-foot facility in downtown Bentonville.

(Facebook/Brightwater)

Source: Walton Family Foundation



Downtown is known for its trendy coffee shops and artisan stores. A non-profit called Downtown Bentonville Inc. organizes concerts and events in this area.

Downtown is known for its trendy coffee shops and artisan stores. A non-profit called Downtown Bentonville Inc. organizes concerts and events in this area. play

Downtown is known for its trendy coffee shops and artisan stores. A non-profit called Downtown Bentonville Inc. organizes concerts and events in this area.

(Facebook/DowntownBentonvilleInc)

Source: Downtown Bentonville



Because Bentonville is home to Walmart's headquarters, it's also become home for many of its executives, which has created a market for luxury real estate. This five-bedroom house is on the market for $461,000. It sits in a gated community, the Lochmoor Club, that's directly marketed to Walmart workers.

Because Bentonville is home to Walmart's headquarters, it's also become home for many of its executives, which has created a market for luxury real estate. This five-bedroom house is on the market for $461,000. It sits in a gated community, the Lochmoor Club, that's directly marketed to Walmart workers. play

Because Bentonville is home to Walmart's headquarters, it's also become home for many of its executives, which has created a market for luxury real estate. This five-bedroom house is on the market for $461,000. It sits in a gated community, the Lochmoor Club, that's directly marketed to Walmart workers.

(Sotheby's International Realty)

Source: Lochmoor Club



The average cost of housing is higher in Bentonville than in any city in the rest of the state. Home values have risen 5.2% in Bentonville over the past year, and only 1.1% in Arkansas' largest city and state capital, Little Rock, in that same period.

This house is on the market for just over $500,000. play

This house is on the market for just over $500,000.

(Zillow)

The median home value in Bentonville is $193,200 and $133,300 in Little Rock, according to Zillow.

Source: Zillow & Zillow



The area's most expensive homes are often located in Pinnacle, a community built around a country club in nearby Rogers. Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott and current Sam's Club CEO John Furner have properties there.

This six-bedroom house is on the market for $4.75 million. play

This six-bedroom house is on the market for $4.75 million.

(Luxury Homes NWA)

Source: Wall Street Journal



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