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West Memphis eyeing new industry

West Memphis eyeing new industry


City replats 140-acre site at Mid-America Industrial Park

The West Memphis City planner treaded softly with a “routine” request to replat 140 acres of West Memphis Public Facilities Board land in the Mid-America Industrial Park. A small step, but one that signaled a big development for the city — a new business in its preliminary steps.

The new land parcel represented the biggest subdivision in the industrial park dwarfing the approximately 80 acres each at the million-square-foot Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Distribution Canter and FedEx Distribution. City Planner Paul Luker matter-of-factly presented the new plat to city council during its Aug.

15 session.

“It’s a very routine subdivision item out there in the industrial park,” said Luker, “where we are accepting the street rightof- way.”

City Council approved the planning commission recommendation with out any questions.

The approval was subject to grading and drainage improvements, Utility Department approval of easements, and storm water management on the site.

The replat effected Lot 2 in the Mid-America Center Subdivision. The site is encompassed by Dollar Tree Distribution on the West, Family Dollar Drive on the north, the Lakeshore trailer park on the east, and the dirt access road extending from Newsome Road in the trailer park to Mid-Amer- ica Blvd. The site has no direct rail access or Interstate frontage and had been zoned I-1, limited industrial district.

The location made for an ideal distribution point with access to the interstate 40 and 55 interchange running through the city. West Memphis set within a twoday drive for 75 percent of the nations population according to a city drive time map. The two day drive circumference spanned from the tip of Florida to New Jersey and west to the mountain time zone including most of Colorado and New Mexico.

Mayor Marco McClendon has lately touted the city location as a distribution hub referring to the Interstate interchange as ‘main street America’ with the aptly named Mid-America Industrial Park.

City officials were absolutely mum about the details about the future development at the site.

Mayor Marco McClendon shared a little piece during his last visit to the county NAACP saying only that hundreds of $20 plus jobs were soon coming to the city.

“I am under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and can’t say more,” Mc-Clendon told the group.

Economic Development Director Phillip Sorrell held the details in strictest confidence after the meeting.

“We have absolutely nothing to say about it,” said Sorrell.

While city officials remain mum about the details, in July, the Memphis Business Journal cited

leaked internal company documents that may have let the cat out of the bag, with an article claiming online used car retailer Carvana “is in advanced negotiations to place a large distribution facility in West Memphis.”

If Carvana is indeed coming to West Memphis, the site would fit the bill.

According to the MBJ, the planned a distribution center at the site would see the entire acreage paved with a 200,000-square-foot mechanic shop and office space at the heart of a new facility. No timeline was revealed in the e-mails.

These memos followed an announcement in the spring for another Carvana location in the Mid-South, a retail dealership at Appling Road and Intestate 40 in Bartlett/Cordova.

The retail locations have become known for its car vending machine spectacle. No such car lift was planned for the potential

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