Developer Laurice Hachem Gives $1M to US Marshals Museum

Developer Laurice Hachem Gives $1M to US Marshals Museum
(United States Marshals Museum)

A northwest Arkansas developer is donating $1 million to the United States Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, the nonprofit announced Thursday.

Laurice A. Hachem is president of Hachem Investments. She began a real estate investment and development business with her late husband Sam more than 35 years ago in Southern California. The company has also operated in Tampa, Florida, and Montreal. Her husband died in 2016 at age 80.

"Making a significant contribution to the United States Marshals Museum was a noble decision for me," Hachem said in a news release. "This worthwhile institution will not only be a cultural destination for Fort Smith, but it will also showcase civic literacy and our Constitution which will be a tourism and economic beacon for the River Valley."

The donation is the first announced since Fort Smith voters defeated a temporary one-cent sales tax increase to fund completion of the museum, now under construction on the banks of the Arkansas River. Supporters said the tax would have raised about $16 million.

Hachem moved to Rogers in 2017 "after having family members research" the area, Hachem said. That year, she bought two houses that showed up on Arkansas Business' list of the region's 10 most expensive homes.

Hachem sits on the museum foundation's board of directors.

"The Marshals Museum will be a place of education, conversation and culture for children and adults of every age," she said. "I'm proud to be a part of the history of American and of moving the Museum closer to grand opening."

Now set to open in 2020, the museum will tell the story of our nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency, from its establishment by President George Washington through current day.