Little Rock tech park location still not chosen

Little Rock tech park location still not chosen

Wednesday, the Little Rock Tech Board did not decide where to build, but talked about three potential sites.
Wednesday afternoon, the Little Rock Tech Park Board did not decide where to build, but talked about three potential sites.

Some neighbors think the board could still pick their neighborhood instead of one of the three options.

Asher and University is one of the sites in Little Rock. It includes land owned by the Coleman family. There are environmental wetland concerns there, so some people think their neighborhood might still be up for grabs.

David Oyster and Rohn Muse both live in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Little Rock. They both own homes, but that is where their similarities seem to end.

“I have a consensus of the neighborhood,” says Oyster.

“So if you had your choice, the tech park would go in your neighborhood?” asked Kelly Dudzik.

“Absolutely," says Oyster.

“It is not a good idea to use taxpayers' money to dispossess people of their homes," says Muse.

Oyster wants to sell to the tech park. Muse does not. Right now, it doesn't look like it will come to that. The board is considering three sites: one on Collins near downtown, one on Asher and University, and one on John Barrow.

Dudzik talked with the woman who owns the John Barrow site Wednesday, and she hopes the board picks her land. She's ready to sell. But, some people worry the board won't pick any of the three sites and will choose their neighborhood instead.

“There is a small group of people in our area that are giving the impression that more than just that small group are interested in selling their homes to the tech park. The majority do not want the tech park to come into our area," says Muse.

But Oyster welcomes the buyout , saying most of the homes in his neighborhood are empty or rented out.

“I've lived there for 37 years. It is blighted. It's not getting any better. Nothing's gonna fix it," says Oyster.

The board will meet again next month with an update on the feasibility of each site.

Board Chair Dr. Mary Good cancelled Wednesday’s public comment session, saying it was getting late at 5:30, and if anyone wanted to comment, they could write down their comments for the board.
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