Discussion among regional mayors part of second annual Invest Fort Smith event

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 516 views 

A panel discussion with regional mayors will be part of the second annual Invest Fort Smith summit set for Sept. 19, according to 64.6 Downtown Executive Director Talicia Richardson.

Richardson told Talk Business & Politics that the four mayors – Alma Mayor Jerry Martin, Fort Smith Mayor George McGill, Greenwood Mayor Doug Kinslow and Van Buren Mayor Joe Hurst – will talk about what they are doing to collaborate to improve the region.

“We want to give people the awareness that you may not see things immediately taking place, but that doesn’t mean the discussion is not occurring. It doesn’t mean that development is not already in place,” Richardson said.

The event will be held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the West Room at Riverfront Park. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. Tickets can be reserved at this link.

According to 64.6 Downtown, objectives of the summit include discussions on information on downtown growth, regional trends, and possibilities within downtown Fort Smith.

“Invest Fort Smith seeks to pull together those interested in starting, expanding, or renovating a business, creating development, or those who wish to stay up-to-date and informed on what is going on in downtown. These opportunities are defined in the Fort Smith downtown masterplan, Propelling Downtown Forward, #PropelFS,” noted the 64.6 Downtown statement.

The organization also said the event is geared toward property owners, developers, small business owners, banks, non-profits, construction, architects, realtors, and public officials. Richardson said the goal with both summits has been to bring those together with the passion or pocketbook – or both – to encourage economic development in the region and not just downtown Fort Smith.

“We wanted to be a convener of the people that were interested in downtown Fort Smith, but also the infill between downtown Fort Smith and Chaffee Crossing, because that’s just as important to the community,” she said.

The event aligns with the Propelling Downtown Forward initiative directed by 64.6 Downtown. 64.6 Downtown is a nonprofit founded in 2015 by Fort Smith entrepreneur Steve Clark with the purpose of creating vibrant spaces in downtown Fort Smith that further economic development. It’s responsible for the Garrison Commons downtown pocket park and The Unexpected, an annual event bringing urban and contemporary art to Arkansas.