A site plan of the original NORTHWEST ARKANSAS PLAZA. The complex started out with a freestanding Sears, which opened in August 1971. The mall, and a Dillard's anchor store, were dedicated in March 1972. The fully-realized shopping hub housed 450,000 leasable square feet and around fifty stores and services.

The complex was only 5 years old when its first expansion got underway. J.C. Penney joined the tenant list, as part of a new West Wing (in medium gray). This addition was completed in September 1978. NORTHWEST ARKANSAS MALL now encompassed 570,000 leasable square feet and housed around sixty-nine tenants.