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Maumelle has added a 121-acre industrial site to aid in the city's job-recruitment efforts. The site, the sixth in Arkansas certified by Entergy Arkansas as ready for business development, is ideal for prospective manufacturing or distribution industries, officials said.

On Tuesday, Entergy Arkansas officially certified the site, a yearlong process that includes soil sampling, environmental studies, archaeological surveys and other tests.

"There will be nothing to stop an industry from locating on that site," said Judy Keller, director of community and economic development for Maumelle. "We've been working on this for about a year and we've done all the due diligence needed to get it certified."

The wooded site still requires development work -- land clearing, connection of utilities, road access and other infrastructure projects -- before construction could begin.

Nevertheless, the certification gives Maumelle a jump-start in recruiting industry and working with site-selection consultants, according to Danny Games, director of business and economic development at Entergy Arkansas. Site-selection consultants often are hired by industries to help them find suitable locations for new plants or distribution centers.

"Sites that go through our certification process are more competitive in that they eliminate time, eliminate risk, eliminate uncertainty for industries," Games said. "It allows communities to demonstrate to a prospective company that we've removed the potential impediments and there is a much better presentation of what they would be buying or constructing on."

The site, just 2.5 miles from Interstate 40, is adjacent to the Little Rock Logistics Center, which houses four distribution operations, including national brands PepsiCo and Kimberly-Clark. The nearest intersection is Murphy Drive and Champs Boulevard. At 121 acres, the site could accommodate a 1.3 million-square-foot facility with parking and road access, Games said.

Entergy's rigorous certification process carries weight with national site-selection consultants, who want to know a potential location is not fraught with problems that have not been investigated or improved.

"Communities are doing all of the work up front," Games said. "A company doesn't have to come in and find out they have to go through months of an evaluation process. It delivers much more certainty to a prospective company."

In addition to Maumelle, other Entergy-certified sites are in Little Rock, West Memphis, Newport, Russellville and Magnolia. Once certified, Entergy's office of business and economic development collaborates with local economic development officials to help promote and market the sites.

Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to about 700,000 customers in 63 counties.

Business on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Maumelle touts Entergy-certified site

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