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New Rd To Open New Opportunities

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Officials hope road will drive in more development

By: Kristie Avery - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 09/18/2010

Texarkana, Ark. Mayor Horace Shipp addresses a crowd Friday at the grand opening of McDonald Lane in Crossroads Business Park. The road comes off the Interstate 30 frontage road, goes between two hotels and ends on Jefferson Avenue. City officials hope having the road open will spur more development in the park. The past, the present, the future.

That was the unscripted theme Friday morning as Arkansas-side officials celebrated the Crossroads Parkway and McDonald Lane roads, now open for development inside Crossroads Business Park.

“There’s a lot that’s been going on, a lot that is going on and a lot that will be going on here,” Mayor Horace Shipp told a crowd of city officials, community leaders, and residents gathered at Friday’s ribbon cutting.

“Three to five years ago, everything you see here was a dream, a vision. Converting a dream to reality takes time, and today we see that dream become a reality a little bit more. This is an important and very significant event,” Shipp said. “As we open this up, I think there will be lots of great things for Texarkana, Ark., folks that deserve goods and services on this side.”

The new north/south road of Crossroads Parkway connects the East 51st Street frontage road, leading down McDonald Lane to Jefferson Avenue and connecting to State Line Avenue.

Property owner Jay Wommack, who donated the land where the roads are located, has plans he’d like to see move from dream to reality.

“High-end apartments and retirement community clusters here so high-end retail will follow,” Wommack said. “I’m looking to put our office building out here. I have a contract on my desk for it. We’re just waiting for the zoning process.”

The land surrounding the new roads are being considered for C-4 zoning. C-4 designates a high-traffic commercial district with strict guidelines and regulations of what can and can’t be built in the business park. The city’s Board of Directors could vote on the zone’s boundaries at Monday’s regular meeting.

“You have restrictions, regulations and guidelines in every neighborhood and subdivision. The C-4 zone potential is a good thing,” said planning commissioner Danny Lewis. “I’m excited about the business park and all the opportunities here. With the hotels here, the coming (Copeland’s of New Orleans) restaurant and convention center and the roads ... I think the property will open up and unleash the potential. The possibilities are endless.”

City Manager Harold Boldt said funding for the roads came from a $1.5 Federal Economic Development Administration matching grant to which the city added $1.5 million. He said the city refinanced a bond to round up another $2.5 million to install underground utility lines and for other enhancements to the park.

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I accidentally drove that road before it was technically open when I was there earlier this year. It looked complete :blush: ... It does seem like a good spot for development, but I wish that Texarkana would put more of that focus into their downtown revitalization instead of promoting the ever increasing sprawl thats becoming common along I-30.

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I accidentally drove that road before it was technically open when I was there earlier this year. It looked complete :blush: ... It does seem like a good spot for development, but I wish that Texarkana would put more of that focus into their downtown revitalization instead of promoting the ever increasing sprawl that's becoming common along I-30.

Unfortunately that's the move just about everyone seems to be doing. I wish Texarkana was closer to where I live. I'd like to check it out one of these days.

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I accidentally drove that road before it was technically open when I was there earlier this year. It looked complete :blush: ... It does seem like a good spot for development, but I wish that Texarkana would put more of that focus into their downtown revitalization instead of promoting the ever increasing sprawl thats becoming common along I-30.

Yeah me too. It's a shame that so,e really nice buildings down town are allowed to just sit and fall apart. Now, because of neglect some of those buildings need to be demolished. There's a sign up on the McCartney Hotel I believe that says it will be renamed Legacy Tower as a mixed use development but that sign has been there since '07 so I doubt anything will come of it. The massive C-4 Zone, covering more than 700 acres along I-30 near the future convention center/hotel site and was intended to be used as a commercial district has been killed and they are now going back to the drawing board to put together another proposal to include more residential dwellings such as apartments, condos and senior citizen living. I hope this will finally put an end to all the drama over this project.

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Mith this area has really changed a lot. Maybe one of these days you'll be able to check it out.

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