The Fort Smith Central Business Improvement District commission discussed various topics Tuesday morning. Here are three takeaways from its monthly meeting.
64.6 Downtown is partnering with the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce to host an “Invest Fort Smith” panel on Oct. 30. Executive director Talicia Richardson said she is making connections with city leaders and business owners from central Arkansas, northwestern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, inviting them to join the panel.
Richardson said the panel’s goal is to allow those interested in starting or expanding their business, developing in the area or staying up-to-date with current initiatives to hear about the downtown revitalization efforts in Fort Smith. She particularly hopes local property owners will attend and hear firsthand the opportunities and potential there is in the area.
More information is available on the 64.6 Downtown website.
Downtown police presence
Commissioner Steve Clark noted the Fort Smith Police Department wants to increase its presence in the downtown area, particularly to prevent loitering. Richardson said the department has one person doing patrol and checking meters but that person is not a trained police officer, and it is evaluating its options with the personnel it has available.
Despite adding 13 new officers in April, the Police Department is still understaffed. Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman said as the city works to create its budget for the upcoming year, the department anticipates having the ability to hire more officers.
Food and brews
The Bakery — formerly the location of The Shipley Baking Company — will house a new catering business, taproom and brewery in downtown on Sixth Street. It will feature a courtyard with various shrubbery, trees, flowers, a covered deck and stage area, bocce ball court and benches.
The commission previously approved an application to demolish 1,500 square feet of the building, which is currently used as an event center, and add metal wall panels on the south, east and west sides. The landscaping plan had not been finished when the initial application was submitted.
Representatives from Studio 6 Architecture were not in attendance at the meeting, but the landscaping plans did not require any action from the commission. More information should become available as the project proceeds.