Conway Corp, City of Conway partner on innovation center

Conway Corp has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Conway to assume maintenance and management of Conway City Hall at 1201 Oak St. The company will repurpose the building as the Arnold Innovation Center; it will include co-working space, office suites and seminar facilities.

In 2017, the Conway Corp Board of Directors announced plans for the Arnold Innovation Center at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting. The center is named in honor of retired Conway Corp CEO Richard Arnold and will be a destination for entrepreneurs to connect with one another while having access to necessary resources to create, launch and grow businesses.

“The innovation center will become the epicenter of Conway’s startup community,” said Bret Carroll, Conway Corp CEO. “This is an ideal location from a technology standpoint and an historic one. It’s in the heart of the Data District and just a few steps from where almost 150 years ago, Conway’s original startups were launched.”

The building is less than a block from the site of Conway Station, from which the city emerged in the late 1800s. The current structure was built for First State Bank and opened in August 1960 before becoming Conway City Hall in 1986. City Hall has remained in its current location for 32 years despite its expected life of 20 years.

City officials hope to move City Hall to a new location in Downtown Conway.

“It’s important for us to reinvest in Downtown Conway,” said Mayor Bart Castleberry. “Any time a new business or organization looks to relocate a city’s downtown area is the first place they look. Moving forward, we hope to design and build a new city hall that’s more efficient and user friendly to better meet the needs of the people of Conway.”

The Arnold Innovation Center will open in 2019.