Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Yeah, the state always seems to push the Marion-West Memphis area for those.  Not sure if they think Ft Smith isn't big enough or what.

 

Honestly, Mith, I think it's because at this point in time Crittenden County has better interstate and rail connections.  (2 major railroads with 3 more across the river).

 

The UP, though, interchanges with others not far away in Oklahoma. (Not sure that the Arkansas & Missouri or KCS in Fort Smith could handle long autoracks right now.  The KCS FSM branch definitely likely not because they have the only railroad tunnel in Oklahoma (near the state line and the suburb of Pocola that I'm not sure is tall enough to accommodate the tall autorack cars.)

 

Build I-49 and the interstate connections will be just as good as in Memphis.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 98
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The Walton family making a major gift to FSM again...this time $1,000,000 for a 2 mile river walking trail.  (After making a significant donation to the U.S. Marshal's museum).  http://www.nwaonline.c

Nice article on the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum (like their signage at night...beautiful work by the architects and builders):  http://www.thecitywire.com/node/32817#.U1gWE_ldWWY

For all intents and purposes, this is the port of Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas as well*.  And thanks to new rail lines which just opened yesterday, it's growing, and likely another piece of the I

Posted Images

Honestly, Mith, I think it's because at this point in time Crittenden County has better interstate and rail connections.  (2 major railroads with 3 more across the river).

 

The UP, though, interchanges with others not far away in Oklahoma. (Not sure that the Arkansas & Missouri or KCS in Fort Smith could handle long autoracks right now.  The KCS FSM branch definitely likely not because they have the only railroad tunnel in Oklahoma (near the state line and the suburb of Pocola that I'm not sure is tall enough to accommodate the tall autorack cars.)

 

Build I-49 and the interstate connections will be just as good as in Memphis.

I was also thinking that there's a much larger population base as well for Memphis.  That might be seen as an advantage as well, more people to help fill jobs.  But yes a completed I-49 would certainly help Ft Smith's position.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I respect Y'alls opinions but It was more political than anything. They were right on track for a Toyota plant over there till Mississippi offered a nature preserve to be named after them among other things. Where was that? Tupelo, that's where. So, throw out all your assumptions made here.

Since Arkansas lost out on first, the Toyota truck plant(Toyota marketing demanded Texas and San Antonio for marketing reasons and then second, the mid sized Suv facility to Tupelo, yes again to Tupelo MS.things have changed.

I just read where the Volkswagon plant in Chattanooga will add around 10,000 jobs(not the plant but via support suppliers and so on) to the region because it landed an additional vehicle line to be assembled there.

Since the strike outs with Toyota, The state of Tennessee has planned a supersite between Memphis and Jackson, so support or cooperation with Memphis will be little unless their site is ruled out early. Plus, you now have air issues in West Memphis with all those damn trucks concentrated and parking there at the mega truck stops. West Memphis had been favored because at the time Ft. Smith had Whirlpool at near full strength and Rheem as well.

I'll tell you this, Electrolux isn't helping the Memphis area. They have had major issues getting that place making quality product. They used the new Memphis plant as a major reason for performance issues and poor financials and a big wig got axed.

It might be more populous but that in no way qualifies it as have a better work force.

Edited by TRB
Link to post
Share on other sites

I respect Y'alls opinions but It was more political than anything. They were right on track for a Toyota plant over there till Mississippi offered a nature preserve to be named after them among other things. Where was that? Tupelo, that's where. So, throw out all your assumptions made here.

Since Arkansas lost out on first, the Toyota truck plant(Toyota marketing demanded Texas and San Antonio for marketing reasons and then second, the mid sized Suv facility to Tupelo, yes again to Tupelo MS.things have changed.

I just read where the Volkswagon plant in Chattanooga will add around 10,000 jobs(not the plant but via support suppliers and so on) to the region because it landed an additional vehicle line to be assembled there.

Since the strike outs with Toyota, The state of Tennessee has planned a supersite between Memphis and Jackson, so support or cooperation with Memphis will be little unless their site is ruled out early. Plus, you now have air issues in West Memphis with all those damn trucks concentrated and parking there at the mega truck stops. West Memphis had been favored because at the time Ft. Smith had Whirlpool at near full strength and Rheem as well.

I'll tell you this, Electrolux isn't helping the Memphis area. They have had major issues getting that place making quality product. They used the new Memphis plant as a major reason for performance issues and poor financials and a big wig got axed.

It might be more populous but that in no way qualifies it as have a better work force.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to say that the Memphis area had a better work force.  I was just saying that because there's a much larger population base that some companies might see it as an advantage because it could be easier to find skilled people to fill the jobs.  I think that's even hurt NWA in some instances.  If there's not a lot of skilled people in certain fields, then it may not be as attractive for a company to locate there.  I wasn't sure if that could be holding back Ft Smith or not.  I'm just speculating on why the state always seems to push the Memphis area and not the Ft Smith area.  If the West Memphis area seems like a no-go currently, maybe the state might eventually start considering the Ft Smith area as a more viable option.  Although to me, it still seems that the state seems to push east Arkansas mostly on big factory plants.  Northeast Arkansas seems to have been the beneficiary in the last few years.  Maybe it's also just the fact that east Arkansas is hurting a lot more so they're addressing it over Ft Smith because in the past it was doing fine.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that FSM is ripe for heavy manufacturing.  Maybe with Toyota coming to DFW, there will be more familiarity with western Arkansas.  Perhaps Asa's push for economic development can land at least one of those manufacturing facilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

"Harmon told Talk Business & Politics he has potential tenants with “firm growth plans,” but would not speculate as to what types of companies might use the Riverside building or how many jobs might be created. Harmon did tease that Spartan is looking at other warehouse space in Fort Smith. His belief is that Fort Smith, because of geography and transportation infrastructure, is a good location to service customers in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas – especially Texas.

'From a distribution standpoint, we believe Fort Smith is very compatible to the Dallas market. That’s why we are very enthusiastic about it,' Harmon said.

And while he did agree that the Fort Smith regional economy was hit hard with manufacturing losses, Harmon is bullish on the region’s future.

'Fort Smith, I think, is positioned (for growth), and we want to be there, to have a part in that recovery. … The long-term outlook for us is that Fort Smith and Arkansas is the place we need to be,' Harmon said."

Hmmm...Spartan Logistics is going from having 100,000 feet of warehouse space to 1,000,000+ of same.

http://talkbusiness.net/2016/01/spartan-acquires-riverside-warehouse-owner-optimistic-about-fort-smith-economy/

Friends, I'm telling you...if I-49 and I-69 (Texas as well as Arkansas for the latter, with Gov. Hutchinson apparently hoping for a 10 year time limit on the Arkansas projects with his proposed transporation financing plan) are finished, this is a taste of what very likely will happen

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, KJW said:

Friends, I'm telling you...if I-49 and I-69 (Texas as well as Arkansas for the latter, with Gov. Hutchinson apparently hoping for a 10 year time limit on the Arkansas projects with his proposed transporation financing plan) are finished, this is a taste of what very likely will happen

If I-49 is completed, I can only see that as a huge win for the Fort Smith area... it would be the intersection of major East-West and North-South intestate corridors. I could especially see Alma benefiting from its completion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Some good news for manufacturing coming out of Fort Smith this morning. Pennsylvania-based Glatfelter announced that they're going to purchase the long-troubled Mitsubishi plant in Chaffee Crossing, and convert it to produce "specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials used in coffee filters, baby wipes, adult diapers, feminine hygiene products, and a wide range of other products."

Talk Business/The City Wire has more info here.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, TRB said:

Sounds like a direct competitor to the outfit in Springdale but I guess tampons are better than nothing at all.

From the article, it sounded like this place would be a supplier for them:

Sheboygan, Wisc.-based Rockline Industries, which has wet wipe production facilities in Booneville, Russellville and Springdale, could be a customer of the Glatfelter products from the Fort Smith operation.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

This was announced a couple days ago, but with Mercy's announcement today, this could be even more important. The new Osteopathic college in Fort Smith has been "pre-accredited", which means they can start recruiting students for the first class of Fall 2017:

From Talk Business:

 

Quote

The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine now under construction at Chaffee Crossing has been approved by a national accrediting body to be able to recruit students for its first class set to convene in the fall of 2017.

It’s a significant milestone that allows college administrators to begin hiring faculty, staff and taking other measures to prep the institution for its 2017 opening.

“We are very excited to begin the process of recruiting for a class of 150 students to start in August 2017. We will begin rapidly expanding the number of faculty and staff hired to meet the needs of the school,” Dr. Kenneth Heiles, dean and chief academic officer said in a statement.

Pre-accreditation by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation allows the college to recruit students immediately, with provisional accreditation status effective July 1.

Work began in February on the $32.4 million facility located in the Chaffee Crossing area. The school will be housed in a three story, 102,000-square-foot building, and a fully operational osteopathic college is expected to serve about 600 students. Initial planning estimated that the new college would employ around 92 (full-time equivalent jobs) with an average salary of $116,000 – not including adjunct professors and other part-time support.

Parker said Wednesday that work on the inside of the facility is almost complete, with work on parking lots and access roads moving as fast as the weather will allow.

 

 

Edited by galador
Include link
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Add metro Fort Smith to the expanding population.  This would put the metro Fort Smith area to about 400,000.  A combined NWA/FSM of 1,400,000 would be bigger than metro Memphis is today:

The population of Fort Smith is projected to grow about 20 percent by the year 2040 for a total of more than 107,000 people, but Greenwood will outpace the region.



Using U.S. Census data and sources such as the Arkansas Municipal League and University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization estimates most communities in the region will also have a 1 percent annual increase over the next 20 years.

While Fort Smith will likely to continue being the most populated city in the four-county area, the largest population growth locally is expected to be seen at Greenwood with a 153 percent projected increase by the year 2040.

Greenwood, the southern Sebastian County seat, is projected to have a population of about 24,495 by the year 2040. It was 9,666 in 2015.

Tony Crockett, a Justice of the Peace for Greenwood in the Sebastian County Quorum Court, says Greenwood has shown steady growth in all directions, particularly north toward Fort Smith.

“I’ve been telling people for a long time that eventually you won’t be able to tell where Greenwood ends and Fort Smith starts,” Crockett said. “Fort Smith is growing south and east and Greenwood is going north so eventually they’ll meet up.”

Alma and Barling are expected to see the second- and third-most growth in the region, respectively. Alma, which lies on U.S. 64 east of Van Buren, is expected to increase in population over 80 percent: 5,600 in 2015 to a projected 10,259 in 2040.

http://www.swtimes.com/news/20160814/population-projections-show-greenwood-booming

Link to post
Share on other sites

From a businessman online friend in Fort Smith:

" When I-49 is complete, Fort Smith will explode. It will be at the corner of I-40 and I-49, in the center of the U.S. With access to rail and river, the proximity to major trucking lines (ABF, C. R. England, J. B. Hunt, USA Trucking, Jones Truck Lines etc.) it will be, perhaps, the single largest drop and ship hub (not attached to a sea or ocean) in the country. It will be central most drop point for shipped items arriving in the gulf ports for distribution east, west, and north.

I read a study several months ago that predicted that, after the completion of I-49, the River Valley will be one on the 5 fastest growing areas in the country, with a return of it's strong manufacturing base to take advantage of it's, now enhanced, ability to ship North, South, East, and West.

According to a couple of friends of mine on the FS Board of Directors and the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, east and south of Fort Smith is being gobbled up in huge chunks by investors in anticipation of the growth that will be facilitated by the completion of I-49. "

Link to post
Share on other sites

Which begs the question, how do we complete I-49? The simple quickest way is to build it as a state road( say AR 549) till the Feds see it fit to remove one of the six pilots states not doing anything with their exclusive ability to fund new federal road via tolls or use a loophole that allows tolls to be used to fund replacement or new bridges and announce the whole stretch to Texarkana as part of it...

 

If built, would a total toll of 10 to 12 bucks each way with a free section at Mena seperating the toll into two segments pay for it? Only six bucks to get to 270 and Hot Springs, 10 to 12 round trip.

 

The reason. I say this is because everyone I talk to say they would gladly pay the toll for this along with a turnpike from Harrison to Walnut Ridge to replace US 412.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Apparently Channel 5, KFSM, will move from their old (former Carnegie Library building) headquarters in Fort Smith to bigger quarters somewhere in NWA (Comreguy, any idea where that might be, as I doubt it will be in the Fayetteville mall) though keep a presence in Fort Smith.

Nonetheless, there will be, in the future, not one but TWO new private high school level schools in FSM, both in Chaffee Crossing.  The new Fort Smith Catholic High School will be built there, as will the new Montessori School (to be given a different name) that will gradually add high school levels.

With all that's changing in Fort Smith (and will do so even more when I-49 is linked via the future bridge) these TV stations must think NWA is going to get really big.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, KJW said:

Apparently Channel 5, KFSM, will move from their old (former Carnegie Library building) headquarters in Fort Smith to bigger quarters somewhere in NWA (Comreguy, any idea where that might be, as I doubt it will be in the Fayetteville mall) though keep a presence in Fort Smith.

Nonetheless, there will be, in the future, not one but TWO new private high school level schools in FSM, both in Chaffee Crossing.  The new Fort Smith Catholic High School will be built there, as will the new Montessori School (to be given a different name) that will gradually add high school levels.

With all that's changing in Fort Smith (and will do so even more when I-49 is linked via the future bridge) these TV stations must think NWA is going to get really big.

No clue on KFSM. Will they have to change their name when they move? ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/12/2017 at 5:28 PM, comreguy said:

No clue on KFSM. Will they have to change their name when they move? ;)

Telling you, there is NO TV market in America that has seen some of the strange and quirky things that "Fort Smith/Fayetteville/Rogers" has.

"KXNW, UHF digital channel 34, is the MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station for Northwest Arkansas that is licensed to Eureka Springs. The station is owned by the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of Tribune Media Company as part of a duopoly with Fort Smith-based CBS affiliate KFSM-TV (channel 5). Both stations share studios located on North 13th Street in downtown Fort Smith.

While Eureka Springs also is located in the Springfield, Missouri market, Nielsen considers this station to be part of the Fort Smith/Fayetteville market."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KXNW

Link to post
Share on other sites

Trane is closing their doors in Fort Smith and is laying off the final 250 workers at the plant. It's sad to see what was once a prominent place in the manufacturing industry turn into what many would call a part of the "Rust Belt." The city has abled-skilled-blue collar workers, but there's no jobs coming here. 

http://5newsonline.com/2017/02/13/trane-manufacturing-facility-closing-in-fort-smith/

This town has lost Trane, Core Microbrewery, and now TV5 (which is amazing that they'd leave their core viewership, but it shows you the direction that Fort Smith is going compared to NWA), all of this within in about a 6 month time frame. Please wake up city administrators, we need jobs here and they need incentives to come here. Minimum wage restaurant jobs aren't going bring the impact that you need for the sustainability and growth of this town. 

Edited by sasnakrafan
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

The Board of Directors have scheduled a special session to discuss a new economic development package being referred to as "Project Platinum". Not many details are known, but it looks to be some sort of manufacturing facility that may create 150 new jobs.

Quote

City Administrator Carl Geffken called for and received a special Board of Directors meeting for Monday (Nov. 20) [...] without naming the job creator.

On Monday at 6 p.m., city directors will consider two resolutions. The first will certify endorsement of the business to participate in the Tax Back Program authorized by Section 15-4-2706(d) of the Consolidated Incentive Act of 2003. The second is a resolution of intent of the city’s Board regarding issuance of bonds for the purpose of assisting in the financing “of an industrial facility” to be located within the city.

An accompanying memo from Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman referred to the business as [Project Platinum], a codename for the actual entity, which plans to invest $38 million in “new manufacturing equipment and construction of buildings.” The facility is expected to be 100,000 square feet.

“The proposed project could add up to 150 jobs to the region,” Dingman wrote.

More at Talk Business.

Edited by galador
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.