Danny Games knows a good industrial site when he sees one, and as Entergy Arkansas' director of business and economic development, he and his team have identified one on 121 acres near Maumelle High School.
Games and Maumelle economic development chief Judy Keller unveiled a site touted as ideal for light manufacturing or mass distribution in a presentation Tuesday at the Jess Odom Community Center, named for Maumelle's developer.
The development, certified by Entergy's Select Site program, is the result of long and hard preparation, Games told Arkansas Business.
"Judy and Mayor [Caleb] Norris put incredible diligence into getting the site certified," he said. "We have a binding option on the property, which is on the east side of Maumelle Boulevard near Kimberly Clark, Pepsi and Molex."
A former global business developer for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Games said the Select Site program helps communities prepare potential sites for high-tech, manufacturing and distribution projects. Preparedness, he said, is the key, and the Entergy news release announcing the site selection even included a quote from Arkansan and legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant: "It is not the will to win, but the will to prepare, that makes the difference."
Entergy committed several thousand dollars to the Maumelle effort, Games said. "In this case the costs were specific to a particular type of engineering, but details vary from site to site." (Games outlined his team's processes in an Arkansas Business interview last year.)
Keller gave particular credit to Entergy in her prepared remarks.
"Maumelle has had a lot of success with new business growth over the past two decades, as well as growth of existing industries; however, that success has decreased our options for future development," said Keller, whose full title is director of community and economic development for the city of Maumelle. "This site has some unique characteristics, and without Entergy's certification process, we would not be in the position to realistically market this tract."
Entergy didn't identify the property owners.
Games said Entergy Arkansas provides assessment tools to help local officials broadcast the fact that they have certified sites ready to go. It also sends a signal to the AEDC, site location consultants and company executives looking to expand.
The idea goes hand in hand with Entergy's pitch about relatively low power costs in Arkansas, and in its service areas, Games said. "Entergy Arkansas works closely with the communities we serve to attract new business and encourage business expansions that result in new jobs, investments and economic growth"