Little Rock tech park approves Main Street locations

(KATV)-The Little Rock Technology Park Authority voted and approved on a land location, selecting several lots in downtown on Main Street. The board said their first priority was to find a place where the tech park could grow and thrive right in the downtown. "The technology park is a place where technology and bio and medical research comes together for commercialization, creating new companies and new jobs for our citizens," said Jay Chesshir, a board member. The park would like to move a city building within 24 months and eventually expand to the other areas, including the Channel 7 building. "It gave us a little bit of the best of all worlds at being able to renovate old buildings while at the same time build new buildings on vacant land," Chesshir said. It's all a part of a larger plan to revitalize main street and turn it into a creative corridor and attract a young crowd. "You have to recognize this isn't an 8 to 5 type operation. This a place people not only want to live and walk to work, but also have the opportunity for restaurants, entertainment, for everything that surrounds," Chesshir said. Funding for the tech park project will come from a tax-payer approved $22 million dollars. "It will have a combination of sources of funding, both from the public side with the city funds, as well as some potential state and federal funds along with private dollars that will be invested in the area, so you're looking at what will truly be a public, private partnership," Chesshir said. The board says contract negotiations for those buildings they want to buy began immediately.