Texarkana Gazette: Purchase complete for Arkansas-side economic development

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Purchase of 1,350 acres of land for the city, Miller County and economic development group AR-TX REDI to use as incentive for manufacturing businesses to locate here is now complete, REDI announced last week.

Fronted by Interstate 30, U.S. Highway 67 and the Union Pacific railroad, the site has been dubbed the REDI Arkansas Manufacturing Center and will be promoted as a shovel-ready location for heavy manufacturing businesses such as auto and aerospace plants.

Local leaders touted the deal as a major step forward for the regional economy, allowing marketing of Texarkana as a prime place in which to build manufacturing facilities that come with new, high-wage jobs.

“Today’s economic development landscape is highly competitive. By starting the process to create a shovel-ready, publicly owned site we are enhancing Texarkana’s profile as a region committed to transformative growth for our residents,” Mayor Allen Brown said in a prepared statement.

REDI CEO Rob Sitterley said Thursday he had already been in touch with business-location consultants about the site and promised a “full court press” of efforts to “aggressively, proactively” market it.

A process of certifying the land — including an environmental assessment and identifying permitting timelines and infrastructure costs — has begun and is expected to be completed in three to six months. REDI said certification is a necessary but preliminary step.

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