Is a Little Rock Tech Park downtown choice in the works? | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Is a Little Rock Tech Park downtown choice in the works?

Posted By on Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 8:12 AM

click to enlarge TECH PARK HINT: From UALR's Joel Anderson.
  • TECH PARK HINT: From UALR's Joel Anderson.
If you missed it, go back and check Leslie Peacock's development-laden report Friday on building momentum for selection of downtown as the place to invest the city's $22 million in the Little Rock Technology Park, whatever it is going to be.

The mayor continues to press for downtown. UAMS has thrown its important influence behind the site. A potential private partner has emerged. A new digital business entrepreneur who's just located downtown wants downtown.

And now this tidbit from a member of the UALR faculty, who attended a Faculty Senate meeting Friday at which UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson spoke:

FYI, Chancellor Anderson announced at the UALR faculty senate meeting on Friday that he did not expect the UALR site to be chosen. In fact, he stated that he thought it was in 3rd place out of the three sites. He didn't seem to be too bothered by that either.

Anderson has made a proposal for a site using mostly land already owned by UALR or property in its expansion plans. He envisions a scientific lab.

Important, too, in Peacock's report was Little Rock Chamber director Jay Chessir's assertion that he didn't see himself as the swing vote on site selection. Does that mean the consensus has formed? Absent any obvious support beyond Chair Mary Good for the third option, a problematic piece of commercial real estate on University Avenue currently occupied by a Sears, that would leave downtown.

The decision could come Wednesday.

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