Fort Smith Board Of Directors Approve Downtown Development Plan

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — In a unanimous vote on Tuesday night (Aug. 1), the Fort Smith Board of Directors decided to pass a revised development plan for the downtown area.

“Propelling Downtown Forward” was created after a study was conducted by 64.6 Downtown along with a Dallas-based company. The company made proposals of how to bolster business, entertainment, and overall growth in the downtown area. In June, 5NEWS Anchor Erika Thomas spoke with 64.6 Downtown and the Propelling Downtown Forward Initiative. 

“I decided to support the plan because it’s going to be good for downtown Fort Smith,” said Keith Lau, city director. “It’s gonna give us an overlay. It’s going to allow us to do some zoning, form-based zoning downtown, and to kind of give us an overview, a plan, of how to develop the different districts in downtown Fort Smith.”

The plan will now head to the Fort Smith Planning Commission to start developing zoning changes and to design a form-based code.

“A vital downtown Fort Smith is good for business, it’s good for everyone that lives here, it improves the quality of life,” Lau said. “If we can continue to have business doing business without increasing their costs and then have an entertainment district, and a cool, fun place to go, then, yes, it’s a good thing for everybody.”

Lau told 5NEWS that the plan should start being implemented immediately.