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Mith242

Arkansas's other metros

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We have obviously had some metros well represented on this forum. Does anyone have much info on some of the other metros? I know there isn't a very large amount of Memphis's metro on the Arkansas side. But I do know some Memphis people have been around the forum. Maybe we can have some of them add a little info although I realize it would fit better under the Tennessee forum. Texarkana has more population on the Texas side but at least it's a little more even. I have contributed a little about Pine Bluff under some of the other topics. I have relatives there so I visit every once in a while. I've never been to Jonesboro and can't say I really know much about it.

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What about Fort Smith??

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Yeah I just mentioned that on another topic. I realized after I put up this topic that I missed Ft Smith, but there really wasn't any more room in the title either. Dispsite it being close to me I don't go to Ft Smith too much anymore. When I first moved to Fayetteville there was a lot less up here so I would sometimes go to Ft Smith. But now there's not much there that I can't do up here in northwest Arkansas. I think it's benefitted a little from being somewhat close to northwest Arkansas. I would imagine if they ever get the I-49 going that it would also help. It's not the tourist area that Hot Springs is. It might be Arkansas's second biggest city, but it's still way behind Little Rock. It is nicer than Pine Bluff, I can say that. It has some interesting history. Just like Little Rock and North Little Rock it has another city on the other side of it's bank, Van Buren. Van Buren has a nice old downtown area. I know this was mentioned in another topic but there doesn't appear to be any city on both sides of the Arkansas River. On the other side of Russellville is Dardanelle. Just interesting how that worked out whereas Tulsa is on both sides of the Arkansas River. Granted the Arkansas River isn't as big around Tulsa.

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I have very much interest in Pine Bluff. Half of my family has lived there for generations, but now there are hardly any left. It will have gone from it being a huge family in Pine Bluff, to almost having nobody left in only a couple generations. This situation is occuring to most families in Pine Bluff, and these families are leaving ties that go way back with the people of the city. I hear all the time about how close-kint and genteel it used to be. They head for places like Little Rock, Hot Springs, or elswhere, even out of state.

Until recently Pine Bluff was the second largest city in Arkansas, and it was for a very long time. It was once the biggest economic powerhouse in the state outside of Little Rock. In its heyday shipped the second most cotton of any city in America other than Memphis. Of course when the agri industry began to consolidate, jobs dried up. The problem in Pine Bluff, as well as the entire Delta, is what is there for people to do for a living now.

I just with the city leaders had had the vision to attract new industry before it became too late. I'll post more on this city once I find out more about what's currently happening. Some good news I do know is that they just became the second major city in Arkansas to pass a smoking ban.

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I have very much interest in Pine Bluff. Half of my family has lived there for generations, but now there are hardly any left. It will have gone from it being a huge family in Pine Bluff, to almost having nobody left in only a couple generations. This situation is occuring to most families in Pine Bluff, and these families are leaving ties that go way back with the people of the city. I hear all the time about how close-kint and genteel it used to be. They head for places like Little Rock, Hot Springs, or elswhere, even out of state.

Until recently Pine Bluff was the second largest city in Arkansas, and it was for a very long time. It was once the biggest economic powerhouse in the state outside of Little Rock. In its heyday shipped the second most cotton of any city in America other than Memphis. Of course when the agri industry began to consolidate, jobs dried up. The problem in Pine Bluff, as well as the entire Delta, is what is there for people to do for a living now.

I just with the city leaders had had the vision to attract new industry before it became too late. I'll post more on this city once I find out more about what's currently happening. Some good news I do know is that they just became the second major city in Arkansas to pass a smoking ban.

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I'm also in a somewhat similar situation. Almost all my family had been in the Pine Bluff-Stuttgart area. Some of the family left decades ago, but as time has gone on more have slowly left. Although I do still have some family members in the area. I think Pine Bluff was also hit hard when the Cotton Belt Railroad left back in the 80's. Now I hear at least one of the paper mills there isn't doing too well. Aside from the paper mills the only thing left that I can think of is Simmons Bank. There is the NCTR to the northwest of Pine Bluff also, but it's a bit away from the city.

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The only metros I know about are NW arkansas, LR, and HS.

Here are pics from arkansas.com. Not much to look at....:

Fort Smith

fortsmith_natl_historic_004_l.jpg

fortsmith_natl_historic_012_l.jpg

Fort Smith Historic Site

fortsmith_trolley_014_l.jpg

Whoa, i didn't realize they had trolleys. (only travels a very short distance, part of Trolley Museum)

fortsmith_ntl_cemetery_001_l.jpg

FS National Cemetary

fortsmith_bellegrove_001_l.jpg

fortsmith_convention_001_l.jpg

CV Center

fortsmith_006_l.jpg

fortsmith_convention_003_l.jpg

Jonesboro:

lol..only one worthwhile photo, ASU museum

jonesboro_asumuseum_001_l.jpg

Pine Bluff:

delta_riversnaturectr_009_l.jpg

Lots of Delta Nature Center photos available

pinebluff_artsctr_001_l.jpg

Arts and Science center for SE Arkansans

pinebluff_mural_005_l.jpg

DT

pinebluff_ent_hallfame_001_l.jpg

Arkansas Entertainer's Hall of Fame

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The only interesting tidbit of info I have on Arkansas at the moment is that the Memphis Business Journal has stated that Marion, Arkansas is being looked at by a Japanese auto manufacturer as a possible location for a car production facility. This would be very beneficial for both Northeastern Arkansas and for West Tennessee (maybe some of the Missouri bootheel too), since alot of support plants would probably be located in the immediate region to supply manufactured parts for the plant.

I should know more about Jonesboro and Osceola, Arkansas since I have driven past them many times, but I have never been to either (even though I have wanted to just to see what they were like). West Memphis...well its there thats about I can say about it.

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According to Southern Business and Development, the site is one of the top ten supersites of the south. Way back, it came up as a runnerup to the San Antonio site...which is now experiencing a boom thanks to the site:

Toyota Plant Causing Ripple Effect in San Antonio

In fiscal year 2003 about $800 million in new permitted commercial construction was launched in San Antonio. That figure grew to $1.4 billion in 2004 and the new Toyota plant being built in San Antonio is the primary reason for the jump in value. Another large increase in commercial construction is expected in 2005 as suppliers for the plant break ground on their facilities and other commercial construction projects in the retail sector begin to take shape near the new Toyota plant.

Here's the description of the Marion site:

Railport Industrial Park

Marion, Arkansas

Acres: 2,000

Outstanding features:

Has been looked up and down by Toyota and the Japanese automaker gave the site a thumbs up

Interstates' 40 and 55 are within 3 miles

Two railroads (UP and BNSF) serve the site with infrastructure in place

Memphis International Airport and world's largest FedEx hub is 16 miles to the Southeast

Near ports on Mississippi River

Why this site is hot: Excellent infrastructure, with low costs, located near a major market. Arkansas now has a big deal closing fund. If Toyota does not take this site for an assembly plant, another automaker will within two years.

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^ Jackson, TN (Madison Co) was another runner up for that Toyota Plant that went to San Antonio. It is still mentioned as a possible strong candidate for a future car plant, but now I hear some rumblings that car manufacturers are now looking in two other West Tennessee counties for a possivle car plant site. I have heard those are Crockett Co (Alamo) and Haywood Co (Brownsville) due to the sheer amount of land a future plant might want and these more rural counties near Jackson would be better suited to offer.

I would be happy if either NE Arkasas (ie Marion) or West Tennessee got a plant, since it would very likely both sides of the river would likely benefit to varying degrees with the construction of support plants that would be established in the region to produce parts for the new plant on either side (albeit I think West Tennessee would benefit more from a Marion plant, then NEA would from a WTN plant simply do to exisiting economic realities). Not to mention the tool & die and speciality machine jobs that would be created servicing all the above. If both sides of the river eventually see plants.....wow that would totally change the economic environment of both NE Arkansas and West Tennessee to an immense degree.

johnnydr87- does Southern Business and Development have a website that would list the other sites. I would be interested in looking at it if they have one.

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Yeah:

http://www.sb-d.com/issues/winter2005/feat...tSupersites.asp

Top ten sites:

Savannah/Pooler, Ga. Site

Chatham County, Georgia

Acres: 1,560

Outstanding features:

350 acres cleared and graded, ready for construction of a large manufacturing facility

Six miles from Port of Savannah, a primary port for shipping to Asian and European markets

Bordered by and accessible from two major interstates, I-95 (north-south) and I-16 (east-west)

Air nearby at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

Drainage structures/storm water retention ponds constructed for entire site

Additional road improvement projects such as a four-lane truck access road and a new interchange on I-95 planned for site

Why this site is hot: Project Pinetree has this site in its final four sites. We believe Pinetree to be a European automaker project, specifically a renewed Daimler/Chrysler site search for its Sprinter Vans

Lowndes County-Golden Triangle Megasite

Columbus, Mississippi

Acres: 1,400

Outstanding features:

One of three TVA Certified Sites

Located adjacent to airport

Rail served

All utilities in place, including 13 onsite 161 KV transmission

5 Miles to major highway, 74 miles to interstate

Why this site is hot: Steelcorr is looking hard at this site. Should announce soon

Wellspring Project

Near Tupelo, Mississippi

Acres: 1,700

Outstanding features:

A TVA Certified Site

Directly on Interstate-to-be 22 (US 78)

Rail served with infrastructure in place

Site is balanced from a cut and fill standpoint (Martha Stewart would say "that's a good thing.")

Entire site is under signed option agreements

76 miles from Memphis International Airport

Why this site is hot: Well, TVA certification is one thing. A Korean automaker is another

NE Opelika Industrial Park

Opelika, Alabama

Acres: 1,784

Outstanding features

Situated directly on Interstate 85 with excellent frontage

Only 15 minutes away from Auburn University, home to over 22,000 students, 4,100 of which are involved in engineering studies

Just over an hour from Atlanta Hartsfield International airport

Rail adjacent provided by CSX

Chattahoochee River dock facility/port access 26-50 miles

16-inch water/8-inch sewer connections, 6-inch main/natural gas connections and electricity on-site

Phase 1 environmental complete with soil data available

Why this site is hot: Didn't make Project Pinetree's final cut, but will make the next one's final cut

Limestone County Site

Limestone County, Ala.

Acres: 3,150

Outstanding features:

Located in North Alabama, in the center of the Southern Auto Corridor

Directly on I-65

Rail served with infrastructure in place

Why this site is hot: Made Project Pinetree's final cut

International Corp. Park

Orlando, Florida

Acres: 3,000

Outstanding features:

Electric, natural gas, water and wastewater on site; road infrastructure in place

Rail on site

Park is DRI approved (development of regional impact), meaning that a master plan has already been completed

Bounded on north side by Highway 528 giving direct shot to airport and Interstate 4 just south and east of Orlando national airport five minutes

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^ Thanks. Very informative.

- off topic -Columbus, Mississippi is a strong area, it just got a steel mill, and already has a strong industrial base.

I'm pulling for Marion though, think it would be great if it gets the plant. I have read, and as this site indicates, it is the one of the strongest sites in the game at the moment for an auto plant.

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So far I Arkansas is the only southern state not to have an automobile plant. I had really hoped that Toyota would have gone to Marion. Although I see their reasons for going to Texas. I happen to like Toyota quite a bit, so I thought it would be nice to have them here in the state. Even though it doesn't effect my side of the state, I'm still hoping some automobile compnay will take the Marion site. It would be a big boost to that region and to the state.

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At this time a parts assembly plant is being constructed in Marion by Hino Motors. Hino is a part of Toyota and is the leading truck and bus producer in Japan. They are getting ready to push the Hino brand in the U.S. I saw one of their trucks for the first time yesterday. If this goes as plans then truck assembly might follow. Also, a number of other parts production plants are setting up in the area. There are some problems with the Marion site due to polution from Memphis. During certain times of the year depending on the wind patterns.

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At this time a parts assembly plant is being constructed in Marion by Hino Motors. Hino is a part of Toyota and is the leading truck and bus producer in Japan. They are getting ready to push the Hino brand in the U.S. I saw one of their trucks for the first time yesterday. If this goes as plans then truck assembly might follow. Also, a number of other parts production plants are setting up in the area. There are some problems with the Marion site due to polution from Memphis. During certain times of the year depending on the wind patterns.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I had heard about Hino, guess I didn't realizing they were doing much over there. I also hadn't heard about the pollution problems.

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At this time a parts assembly plant is being constructed in Marion by Hino Motors. Hino is a part of Toyota and is the leading truck and bus producer in Japan. They are getting ready to push the Hino brand in the U.S. I saw one of their trucks for the first time yesterday. If this goes as plans then truck assembly might follow. Also, a number of other parts production plants are setting up in the area. There are some problems with the Marion site due to polution from Memphis. During certain times of the year depending on the wind patterns.

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The look is very unique :D

e_home_ph.jpg

I'm not sure how it would pick up in the United States

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I believe it was just in the past few weeks that Marion lost the--I believe it was--Nissan plant to Toronto. I wouldn't say that all the pollution which was a factor in the decision comes from Memphis. Much of it comes from the gazillion trucks which all converge at the I-40/I-55 interchange.

There was an article recently in the Memphis paper about how Marion's population is booming due to its 10 min. proximity to Memphis' redeveloped downtown, and how the town is adding all sorts of retail, etc.

That's good too, because Crittenden County's population has been at 51,000 for decades it seems. Good too because no one in Memphis would previously have considered living there--basically because the county's associated with West Memphis which has a honkytonk reputation of being nothing more than a miles-long truck stop.

Before, most Memphis suburbanites would have lived 30 miles to the east of downtown in Collierville rather than 5 miles to the west in Marion.

BTW--my mother was born in Newport, and I have relatives in Forrest City.

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I believe it was just in the past few weeks that Marion lost the--I believe it was--Nissan plant to Toronto.  I wouldn't say that all the pollution which was a factor in the decision comes from Memphis.  Much of it comes from the gazillion trucks which all converge at the I-40/I-55 interchange.

There was an article recently in the Memphis paper about how Marion's population is booming due to its 10 min. proximity to Memphis' redeveloped downtown, and how the town is adding all sorts of retail, etc.

That's good too, because Crittenden County's population has been at 51,000 for decades it seems.  Good too because no one in Memphis would previously have considered living there--basically because the county's associated with West Memphis which has a honkytonk reputation of being nothing more than a miles-long truck stop.

Before, most Memphis suburbanites would have lived 30 miles to the east of downtown in Collierville rather than 5 miles to the west in Marion.

BTW--my mother was born in Newport, and I have relatives in Forrest City.

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That would be cool, if West Memphis and Crittenden County became more a part of the the Memphis metro. At least Crittenden County has lost population like most counties along the Mississippi River. I've heard there's been a big decline especially the last few years since the last census.

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About two months ago, I read in the Commercial Appeal that Marion/ West Memphis have been passed over by major industry twice in the past few years because of their high levels of pollution. It is a shame, because if Marion or West Memphis landed a major automobile production facility, the economy of eastern Arkansas would quickly improve. I grew up in Northeast Arkansas, and was raised to believe Memphis was a nasty, terrible place. (but after living there for five years, I know its actually a very livable city whose potential is greatly underrated) People in Northeast Arkansas aren't moving to the memphis metro like Mississippians are moving up to Desoto County. The addition of industry on the scale of Toyoto would also help Memphis' growth rate.

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Yeah. i remember being repulsed by the general condition of West Memphis...but I doubt that's the main reason why it was looked over.

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That would be cool, if West Memphis and Ctrittenden County became more a part of the the Memphis metro.  At least Crittenden County has lost population like most counties along the Mississippi River.  I've heard there's been a big decline especially the last few years since the last census.

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Crittenden was 50,000 in 2000 and is 51,000 now. As far as I know, it's not been below 50,000 in decades, just not growing at all either.

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I grew up in Northeast Arkansas, and was raised to believe Memphis was a nasty, terrible place.  (but after living there for five years,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You got that right. My Forrest City cousins despise Memphis (like Forrest City is something, uh, better). lol

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So much of the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas seem to be losing population. Overall there just doesn't seem to be enough to keep people around. I've mentioned this in another topic. Overall there's a trend of urbanization in the US. More people are going to the cities because that's where the jobs are and also I imagine because there's usually more to do in a city. The one area you think should have a better shot at growing in that region of Arkansas would be around West Memphis. You've got a very large (okay very large by Arkansas standards) metro area. I realize Memphis isn't the richest city around. But there are some pretty nice suburbs to the east of Memphis. Just seems like there should be some way of Arkansas trying to tap into the Memphis market and try to make West Memphis into a nice suburb of Memphis and try to work it from there.

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So much of the southern and eastern parts of Arkansas seem to be losing population.  Overall there just doesn't seem to be enough to keep people around.  I've mentioned this in another topic.  Overall there's a trend of urbanization in the US.  More people are going to the cities because that's where the jobs are and also I imagine because there's usually more to do in a city.  The one area you think should have a better shot at growing in that region of Arkansas would be around West Memphis.  You've got a very large (okay very large by Arkansas standards) metro area.  I realize Memphis isn't the richest city around.  But there are some pretty nice suburbs to the east of Memphis.  Just seems like there should be some way of Arkansas trying to tap into the Memphis market and try to make West Memphis into a nice suburb of Memphis and try to work it from there.

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That would require a massive overhaul in West Memphis. Have you seen the place? Not exactly a place to attract people to live...

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That would require a massive overhaul in West Memphis.  Have you seen the place? Not exactly a place to attract people to live...

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No it's been over a decade since i"ve been in that area. That's sorta what I was afraid of. It's just a shame, it's the one area that should have a chance to do something. It just seems like one of the few places that has potential to buck the trend of eastern and southern Arkansas. That also probably explains why West Memphis never has developed into much compared to the rest of Memphis.

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