Miller County site receives economic development certification

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A 1,350-acre site near Texarkana in Miller County, Arkansas, is now certified and ready for development. On April 13, local, regional and state representatives gathered in Texarkana to celebrate the certification of the REDI Arkansas Manufacturing Center through the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas ONSite Certification program. This site, served by Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative, is the first industrial site to receive such a designation that is served by an electric cooperative in Arkansas.

(From left to right) Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative CEO Dion Cooper, Texarkana Mayor Allen Brown, AECC Manager of Community and Economic Development JD Lowery, Miller County Judge Cathy Harrison and AR-TX REDI CEO Rob Sitterley celebrated the certification of the REDI Arkansas Manufacturing Center through the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas ONSite Certification program. The 1,350-acre site located near Texarkana is now certified and ready for development.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke to the attendees and commended regional leaders for working together to make this site possible. “It’s over 1,000 acres. And it’s very rare in Arkansas to have that large of a megasite, so the opportunities are unlimited,” Hutchinson said. “But of course, we would always like to have the opportunity for an automobile manufacturer. Texarkana has the ground ready to go for that type of facility.”

The Miller County site served by Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative is the first industrial site to receive the REDI Arkansas Manufacturing Center certification.

The local economic development organization AR-TX Regional Economic Development Inc., or REDI, is behind the development of this site. The site is being marketed as a shovel-ready site to large industrial users such as auto manufacturers.

“We’ve already started marketing the property,” Rob Sitterley, CEO of the group, said. “We’ve had some calls already with businesses and site selectors that are interested in a tract that size.”

Site certification is awarded after an extensive review process. Specific site details, such as zoning restrictions, historical review, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis and surveys, are assessed for compliance and authenticity.

State Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston was also in attendance to celebrate Texarkana becoming the eighth community to be named an Arkansas Competitive Community through a program run by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

This program is designed to identify ways a community can be more competitive regarding its economic development organizational structure, funding, workforce and product readiness.

“This is a robust program that was carefully created to make the most of the assets we have in each of our communities,” Preston said.

 

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