The Conway Downtown Partnership will celebrate 10 years of revitalization in downtown Conway on Tuesday.

The annual meeting and luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Michelangelo’s. Atty. Gen. Dustin McDaniel will be the featured speaker.

Executive Director Kim Williams said the luncheon will provide an opportunity to review the work of the Partnership through the years.

George Covington Sr. has long served as chairman of the organization that promotes redevelopment and revitalization, encourages cooperation among merchants and builds audiences for downtown activities.

In 2001, the organization, led by director Jamie Gates, spearheaded a comprehensive, long-term development plan for downtown.

At the annual meeting in 2003, Partnership members heard that progress included creating a master plan, building a model block, establishing guidelines for redevelopment and overcoming major flooding and two fires that took out several businesses in the heart of Downtown on Oak Street.

Later in 2003, the Partnership collaborated with the City of Conway, Conway Corp., the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conway Development Commission to begin a series of streetscape projects that included sidewalks with brick pavers, bulb-outs, landscaping, period streetlights and improvements to underground infrastructure along Front Street, Oak Street, and Parkway.

T.J. Johnston was director of the Partnership when EM Jeans moved Downtown, leading the redevelopment of the block that had suffered two major fires.

Along the way, loft apartments were built in two locations, Mike’s Place brought fine dining to downtown, the Halter Building was redeveloped, and businesses moved into formerly vacant properties.

In 2009, construction of the new Conway Police Station added the blocks of Front, Deer, Chestnut and Prairie streets to the streetscape of Downtown Conway.

The event’s program includes a video interview with stakeholders supporting development in the downtown area. 

"It is vital to the continued vibrancy and economic development of a community to invest, maintain and promote the core of the community," Williams said. "The annual meeting is designed to explore the progress we have made, the impact of those investments and the path for the future."

The luncheon is a sold-out event with a projected attendance of 130. Those wishing to get on the waiting list for the event may call Williams at 730-2095.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)