LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Port of Little Rock is breaking ground on a speculative space to create additional jobs in the area.

Bluestem Partners of Kansas City made the announcement in Little Rock on Thursday.

The new facility will be just under 1,000,000 square feet and could up to a few hundred more jobs once a business moves into the space and takes over.

“We have a group from outside the state recognizing what’s going on from an economic development standpoint, wanting to come and invest in us and help us invest in others,” said President of Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jay Chesshir.

Chesshir said just 17 years ago there was significant space available at the Port of Little Rock, but as economic developments have grown, the space has become limited.

“We find ourselves here 17 years later running out of space and continuing to purchase more,” Chesshir said.

The growth at the Port symbolizes the growth we have seen all across Little Rock, according to Mayor Frank Scott Jr.

The jobs created, he said, will add to the historic past three years we have seen in Little Rock.

“What that tells us is, number one we’re open for business,” the mayor said. “Number two, the people want to be here and businesses want to be here.”

The warehouse will be built in two phases. The first one will be over 537,000 square feet and is expected to be done in the second quarter of 2023.