The UALR Board of Visitors passed a resolution on Tuesday, Oct. 8, endorsing university-owned property as a viable option for the location of a proposed Little Rock Technology Park.
The endorsement followed an update from UALR Chancellor Dr. Joel E. Anderson that highlighted nearly 22 acres near UALR for possible use as a technology park.
The proposed Oak Forest Site, bordered on the east by Fair Park Boulevard and by Coleman Creek to the west, could be developed in four distinct phases that is slowly integrated into the University District, according to Anderson.
UALR is joined by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the City of Little Rock as co-sponsors in the proposed park.
Anderson in his presentation said UALR’s proximity would provide access to the “substantial institutional infrastructure, as well as a substantial research infrastructure” necessary for such a park.
Features that would make the development an attractive alternative would include such things as access to UALR’s faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as labs, library resources and the UALR Emerging Analytics Center.
Anderson opened his comments by noting that the move to calling the site a “tech park” rather than “research park” had shifted the focus away from the key ingredient vital for its success — two research universities (UALR and UAMS) with research to fuel it.
Anderson added, “In short, the relationship of a given site to the vital contributions of the universities has been taken for granted.”
The land as envisioned would provide plenty of green space for a sustainable community of entrepreneurs and scientists, said Anderson.
Anderson stated that the private properties in the area could be acquired without use of eminent domain if purchased in compliance with federal guidelines concerning the relocation of area residents.
Anderson made a similar presentation to members of the Technology Board on Wednesday, Oct. 9. For the complete content of his prepared remarks and Power Point presentation, visit the Office of the Chancellor’s web page at http://ualr.edu/chancellor/.