A Better Region 8: Update on one convention center project

Last week on A Better Region 8, we talked about growth, development, and the fact that projects get started then stall, and the possibility of going from two possible convention centers to no convention center.

In that editorial, we talked about the projects at Greensboro Village at Hilltop and the Keller convention center on the south side of town. I made the statement that : "The O'Reilly project on Arkansas State's campus is nothing more than a fence surrounding the old track.  No movement there and no real update."

Well, Tim O'Reilly, who is the principal in the project, took issue with that. In an email to me last weekend he said:

"Please be assured we are moving forward with our Embassy Suites project on the Arkansas State campus.  The thing you need to look at is investment in plans, and the state of the architectural and engineering drawings.  Ours are done, and I'll send them to you if that would help.  Killian Construction company is actively bidding all phases of the project.  The Embassy Suites & Red Wolf Convention Center is the 'real deal,' is fully funded, and will be moving forward in the very near future.  These architectural and engineering plans take a while, and we are moving forward efficiently.  So, be patient, and you will see construction soon!"

We took him up on his offer and he did what he said he would do by sending us more than 1,600 pages of documents outlining what appears to be every aspect of the project.

The developers of the other projects mentioned in the editorial haven't reached out, and I just want to say, you're welcome to. We will treat you fairly and give you a say here on a better Region 8 just like we did Mr. O'Reilly.

I closed the last editorial saying that showing us more than just moving dirt and pouring footings is needed for me to believe.  Now I'm a little closer to believing that at least one of these projects might happen.

Keeping the public informed, being accountable and seeing things through to completion makes this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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