Fort Smith Leaders Eye Riverfront for New Development

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Take a walk along the Arkansas River at the west end of Fort Smith and you won’t see much: Past the Riverfront Pavilion there’s little more than weeds and dirt. But that’s changing. Big trucks have appeared, along with signs promising “Future site of …”

The town has morphed during the past decade. Manufacturing has given way to transportation and utilities as Fort Smith’s biggest employer, seen most recently in the dramatic shutdown of Fort Smith’s 944-employee Whirlpool Corp. plant.

Now, the city’s leaders are prepared to fight back with big plans for tourism and commerce along the Arkansas River.

The two biggest projects in the area are the long-planned U.S. Marshals Museum and a brand new commercial district, both in place of the aforementioned weeds and dirt. Click here to read the full story from our partners at